Fast Heart Attack Care Wins Methodist Charlton and DeSoto Fire Rescue American Heart Association Award

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Heart Attack Patient Alive and Well Despite Waiting 13 Hours to Call EMS

Myra Forbes reunites with cardiologist Manish Patel, MD.

Methodist Charlton Medical Center and DeSoto Fire Rescue received an award for the fastest total combined patient treatment time for heart attack patients during the fourth quarter of 2011. The award was given as a result of data submitted to the American Heart Association Dallas Caruth Initiative showing a door-to-balloon time of 28 minutes and total EMS time of 26 minutes in a recent patient’s treatment. This door-to-balloon time was far ahead of the national goal of 90 minutes. Door-to-balloon time is the time from when the patient arrives at the emergency department to when the interventional cardiologist opens up the blocked artery, restoring blood flow to the heart.

Due to the expertise of Methodist Charlton and DeSoto Fire Rescue, Myra Forbes, a retired postal worker and mother of eight and grandmother of 23, had a successful outcome and continues to lead a full, busy life despite waiting 13 hours to call 911 in the heart attack incident. During the reception where the award was presented, Methodist Charlton Cardiology Manager Jon Aldama told Forbes, “Thank you for trusting us with your heart.”

Through a multi-million dollar grant initiative between the American Heart Association and W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation, Methodist Charlton is collaborating with other hospitals and EMS providers to streamline protocols to help reduce response times and coordinate data transfer.

Dudley Wilcoxson, NREMT-P, EMS liaison in the emergency department at Methodist Charlton, emphasized how important it is for patients to call 911. “By calling an ambulance, you allow paramedics to begin treatment before the patient arrives at the hospital.”

Every day in Dallas County, approximately 30 people suffer a heart attack.

Methodist Charlton recently began its open heart surgery program. Although the program is new to Methodist Charlton, its physicians, nurses, and staff bring decades of open heart surgery experience to the program. Since opening November 2011, the program has performed 52 open heart surgeries. Methodist Charlton is currently relocating and expanding its post-coronary interventional unit (PCIU), at a cost of $2.8 million, to support cardiology services. An intermediate care unit recently opened to serve patients that require more monitoring and closer observation than a medical/surgical unit patient. Methodist Charlton also offers 24/7 interventional cardiology coverage.