Santa Rosa Medical Center’s (SRMC) new cardiac services are being credited with saving an Alabama woman’s life after experiencing a serious cardiac event.
Kathy Gonzalez, 59, arrived at SRMC’s Main Emergency Department on Aug. 23 with severe chest pain. It was discovered, through an electrocardiogram (EKG), that she was experiencing an anterior ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), or a dangerous cardiac event commonly referred to as a widowmaker heart attack.
“In just a couple of minutes, my room was full of people that were getting me prepared for a heart cath and stent,” Gonzalez explains. “This hospital and staff saved my life!”
Gonzalez received a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or coronary angioplasty and stenting; a non-surgical procedure where an interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter to the coronary blockage so a balloon can be inflated to open the artery and place a stent to restore blood flow. She is the first walk-in STEMI patient to be fully assessed and treated by SRMC staff without emergency medical services (EMS).
“Since expanding cardiac services just a few weeks ago, Kathy and other patients experiencing acute cardiac incidents have been able to recieve the treatment they need without traveling further for quality care,” shares Justin Serrano, SRMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “For heart attacks and strokes, we know minutes matter. Our nurses, doctors and support staff have put in the effort to bring these services to Santa Rosa County for the people who live, work and visit here.”
Last week, Lifeguard Ambulance Service transported SRMC’s first STEMI patient to the ER and started live-saving procedures while en route to the hospital. The successful intervention and patient recovery marks a historic milestone for Santa Rosa Medical Center and healthcare services in Santa Rosa County.
SRMC started offering primary PCI 24/7 on Aug. 1 as cardiac services expanded to include interventional cardiology. In March 2022, SRMC was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the American College of Cardiology based on a rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.