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Full Service Emergency Department

 In addition to a full spectrum of cardiovascular care, our services include round-the-clock emergency care for all types of emergencies (not just cardiac). Our emergency room physicians and nurses are specially trained in emergency medicine, and the ER is fully staffed 24 hours a day.

Know the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

When each second counts, don't wait.

If you experience warning signs, call 911 and go to your nearest hospital.

The Avera Heart Hosptial is the only hospital dedicated to your heart, as well as South Dakota's first Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center.

And because each second counts, our team of experts is here when you need them to treat heart attacks with the latest technology and exceptional care.


If you are feeling:

  • Chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, light-headedness, cold sweat or nausea along with chest discomfort.

Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Don't play the waiting game. When symptoms occur, call 911, then go to your nearest hospital.

South Dakota's First Accredited Chest Pain Center

The Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota is the state's first hospital to receive accreditation as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, meeting stringent guidelines to achieve this designation.

The Chest Pain Center's protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

The Avera Heart Hospital is also connected to the Avera McKennan Emergency Department, which is a Level II Trauma Center.

Cardiac Arrest and AED Program

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 350,000 deaths each year.  In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest it is important to act early.  According to the American Heart Association, CPR rescue attempts using electric defibrillation (AEDs) improve survival rates by as much as 49%.  It is estimated that 20,000 to 100,000 sudden cardiac deaths could be prevented each year if defibrillation was readily available.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that automatically analyzes the heart rhythm and, if it detects a problem that may respond to an electrical shock, the AED permits a shock to be delivered to restore a normal heart rhythm. AEDs decrease the treatment time for cardiac victims and yield higher survival rates.  In 2003, the Avera Heart Hospital and Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue began a program with the goal of placing more AEDs within the Sioux Falls area.  Currently, the Avera Heart Hospital and the Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue have placed over 1,000 AEDs in the Sioux Falls area.

The Avera Heart Hospital does not make a profit on the AED sales and is able to offer these at cost.  For current pricing information or other questions, call Avera Heart Hospital Materials Management Department 605-977-7000.

If you come across someone who is unresponsive:

  1. Call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services.
  2. Get an automated external defibrillator (AED) (if one is available).
  3. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive.
  4. Use the AED as soon as it arrives.