Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is now performing primary percutaneous coronary interventions on heart attack patients. This means that patients with active heart attacks can be treated at the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab instead of being transferred to other hospitals. Prompt treatment often means the difference between life and death for heart attack patients, as it did for the hospital’s first intervention patient.
Plainfield resident Jesus Padilla was taken by ambulance to the emergency room Oct. 16 after suffering a heart attack. The heart attack caused Padilla to go into cardiogenic shock, a state characterized by a decreased pumping ability of the heart. The 43-year-old father of three also was suffering from complete heart block, a failure of the heart’s electrical signal to pass from the upper to the lower chambers.
Although he was conscious, Padilla’s heart rate was just 30 beats per minute; by comparison, the average adult male’s resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute. Nor could Padilla sustain his blood pressure.
“No one was sicker than Mr. Padilla. He survived the worst heart attack I have ever seen in all my years treating patients,” said Dr. Dominick Stella, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory/vascular laboratory. “This case typifies why it’s so important for us to do primary coronary interventions here at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital; Mr. Padilla wouldn’t have survived a transfer to another hospital.”
Because he was unable to breathe on his own, Padilla was placed on a ventilator. Stella performed an angiogram – which involves placing a small balloon into a blocked coronary artery and inflating it to open the vessel for improved blood flow – and inserted a stent in Padilla’s right coronary artery. Stents are small metal mesh tubes that are used to hold the vessel open. Dr. Charles Kinder, a cardiac electrophysiologist, implanted a pacemaker in Padilla’s chest to stabilize his heart rate and rhythm.
Padilla, who was discharged from the hospital Oct. 24, said he is grateful to have been treated at a nearby hospital.
“My doctors said I was very, very lucky,” Padilla said. “I’m thankful the hospital was so close. The doctors and nurses did an excellent job.”
In April, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approved the hospital’s request for cardiac cath services, providing critical access close to home for residents in and around Will County. Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that helps guide physicians in choosing the best, most effective treatment for patients with heart disease. During the procedure, a physician uses digital images to identify potential blockages in the arteries. If an artery is found to be narrowed or blocked, the physician can use several techniques to improve blood flow.
Knowing that his emergency responders can take active heart attack patients to a hospital in the community gives Bolingbrook Fire Chief David W. Litton peace of mind.
“Time is of the essence when we’re transporting heart attack patients,” Litton said. “We know we can count on the experienced staff at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital to care for these patients.”
As demonstrated in Padilla’s case, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is able to successfully treat the most critical heart attack patients, added Rick Mace, the hospital’s chief executive officer.
“We’ve been waiting for this day,” Mace said. “We’re proud to announce that our highly-skilled team can offer the full spectrum of cardiac cath procedures. In fact, our team collectively has more than 50 years of healthcare experience, including 27 years of experience in the cath lab.”