Media release: After three years of preparation and planning, AdventHealth Gordon now offers PCI and STEMI services in the facility’s Cardiac Catheterization Labs (cath labs) 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week in partnership with Harbin Clinic Cardiology.
PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) is a procedure that improves blood flow to the heart during a STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction), a serious type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked. Harbin Clinic cardiologists work hand-in-hand with the AdventHealth Gordon cath lab team to diagnose and intervene acute coronary events.
“I haven’t stopped smiling since we went live on Dec. 2,” said Destiny Howe, nurse manager of AdventHealth Gordon’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab. “My team has worked so incredibly hard over the last three years to build a second cath lab, hire more team members and go through extensive training. They are now taking turns being on-call to provide these services to our community. ZIP code no longer dictates access to heart care in Northwest Georgia.”
The day AdventHealth Gordon’s 24/7 PCI and STEMI services went live, Kenneth Hand visited the emergency room with severe chest pain.
Hand travels between Calhoun and Nashville weekly. While in Calhoun, he tends to his local business and spends time with his father and family before heading back to Nashville where he resides with his wife, Kim. Hand began experiencing pain and nausea several days before coming to AdventHealth Gordon, and the day his pain came to a head, he happened to be in Calhoun.
Once Hand was in AdventHealth Gordon’s emergency room, he was taken back for an evaluation immediately and soon found out he was having a heart attack. That’s when Harbin Clinic cardiologist Andrew McCue, MD, assured Hand that everything was going to be okay.
“I was very concerned because of what I have experienced with my father and his heart issues,” said Hand. “But when Dr. McCue came in to see me, he told me he was going to take good care of me. After that, I had a sense of peace come over me.”
Hand was quickly taken to AdventHealth Gordon’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab to have a PCI procedure and two stents placed to restore blood flow to his heart.
“They explained to me exactly what was going on and what was going to happen next,” said Hand. “Since I was awake during the procedure, I expected to experience some crazy pain but I didn’t have one bit of pain. I was very comfortable thanks to the staff.”
After the procedure, PCI patients are closely monitored in the ICU. A cardiac rehabilitation nurse will visit patients at the bedside and work on a plan to reduce the risk factors that led to the heart attack and provide education on their new diagnosis. After being discharged, patients begin the necessary medications and are enrolled in AdventHealth Gordon’s cardiac rehabilitation program to address medication assistance, lifestyle changes and focused care.
Hand will complete a personalized recovery plan to strengthen his heart. He has also experienced little to no pain since his PCI procedure. “I feel great,” said Hand. “I’ve only had a little soreness, and I am getting used to my new medications.”