Below you may find answers to our most frequently asked questions:
  • - How Can I See a Cardiologist?
  • - What are Cardiac Risk Factors?
  • - What are Heart Attack Warning Signs?
  • - What is Heart Palpitations?
How Can I See a Cardiologist?

To book an appointment to see one of our specialists you will need to get a referral from your family doctor or a walk-in clinic.

For all emergencies please go to your nearest emergency room for immediate assistance.

Cardiac Risk Factors
  • - High Blood Pressure
  • - Diabetes
  • - Smoking
  • - Family History
  •    - Male relative < 55
  •    - Female relative < 65
  • - High Cholesterol
  •    - High LDL or
  •    - Low HDL < 35
  • - Age
  •    - Male > 45
  •    - Female > 55
  • - Physical Inactivity
  • - Obesity
  • - Stress and Behavior
  • - Alcohol Intake

Ask your doctor about Your Heart condition

Heart attack warning signs 

Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks every year because they don't receive medical treatment quickly enough. Learn to recognize the signals of a heart attack so you can react quickly to save a life.

  • - Sudden discomfort or pain that does not go away with rest
  • - Pain that may be in the chest, neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back
  • - Pain that may feel like burning, squeezing, heaviness, tightness or pressure
  • - In women, pain may be more vague
  • - Chest pain or discomfort that is brought on with exertion and goes away with rest
Shortness of breath
  • - Difficulty breathing
  • - Indigestion
  • - Vomiting
  • - Cool, clammy skin
  • - Anxiety
  • - Denial
If you are experiencing any of these signs, you should:
  •      - CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately, or have someone call for you. Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone at all times.
  •      - Stop all activity and sit or lie down, in whatever position is most comfortable.
  •      - If you take nitroglycerin, take your normal dosage.
  •      - If you are experiencing chest pain, chew and swallow one adult 325 mg tablet or two 80 mg tablets of ASA(acetylsalicylic acid, commonly referred to as Aspirin®). Pain medicines such as acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil®) do not work the same way as ASA (Aspirin) and therefore will not help in the emergency situation described above.
  •      - Rest comfortably and wait for an ambulance with emergency medical personnel to arrive.

Heart palpitations -- an unusual awareness of the heartbeat -- is an extremely common symptom. Most people who complain of palpitations describe them either as “skips” in the heartbeat (that is, a pause, often followed by a particularly strong beat,) or as periods of rapid and irregular heartbeats. While many people with palpitations can ignore them, others find them extremely disturbing and frightening, and often worry that they are about to die at any moment. Fortunately, the vast majority of palpitations are not associated with life threatening heart rhythm disturbances. When a patient complains to a doctor about palpitations, it becomes the doctor’s obligation to do two things:

- identify the cause of the palpitations, and

- provide optimal treatment for that cause

What Kinds of Arrhythmias Produce Palpitations?

Most people with palpitations have some type of cardiac arrhythmia. Virtually any arrhythmia can cause palpitations, but the most common causes of palpitations are premature atrial complexes (PACs), premature ventricular complexes (PVCs), episodes of atrial fibrillation, and episodes of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). However, in some cases, palpitations can be caused by more dangerous arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia. Life-threatening arrhythmias are usually seen in patients with underlying heart disease, however, so it is especially important to identify what is causing palpitations in individuals who have underlying heart disease. The same thing holds true for patients with palpitations who also have significant risk factors for heart disease (family history, smoking history, high cholesterol, overweight, sedentary lifestyle).

How Palpitations Should Be Evaluated The first order of business when a patient complains of palpitations is to find out whether the palpitations are caused by a heart rhythm disturbance, and if so, to identify the particular arrhythmia that is causing the palpitations. There are few types of Heart Rhythm Monitors that are easily available:

  • - Holter Monitor (24-72 hours or longer in some cases)
  • - Loop / Event Recorder (14-30 days)

Ask your doctor for more details