Every Heart Matters

Even Traffic Jams Can't Slow Jackson Team's 16 minute Door-to-Balloon!!

This article was contributed by Emily Garner, RN and Clinical Manager at West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center

A 57-year-old male truck driver had chest pain and pulled over to a rest stop on Interstate 40 at mile marker 68. He called 9-1-1 and the West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center at Jackson Madison County General Hospital EMS Crew 111 responded, specifically Lyle Holmes, EMT-P and Meagan Brown, EMT-P. The EMS crew did an EKG immediately that showed a STEMI. Unfortunately, a traffic accident on I-40 caused a traffic jam, so the crew called in the air transport, Hospital Wing, which included team members Rita McCoy, William Carroll and Kirk Sunley.

Since the EKG had already been sent in, ED physician Dr. Michael Revelle looked over the EKG, spoke with the EMS crew, and then quickly activated TEAM HEART.

What is TEAM HEART? It sounds interesting … and cool. This is our code for an incoming STEMI to our ER. It activates our ER staff to care for the STEMI patient with protocols, cath lab and the STEMI on-call cardiologist.

The cath lab team and the interventional cardiologist, Dr. Tommy Miller, were already awaiting the patient's arrival. Dr. Revelle did a quick assessment as the patient was getting off the elevator from the helipad.
The teamwork and advance warning made it possible for this patient to be transported directly to the cath lab and bypass the ED. Once the cath procedure was started, Dr. Miller did an amazing job and successfully placed a balloon and stent to the proximal left anterior descending artery in 6 minutes! That's time-out-time-to-device-deployment time actually! The patient was discharged home three days later and is back on the road driving his truck!

Total door-to-balloon time was 16 minutes! Total first-medical-contact-to-balloon time was 63 minutes! Amazing! "I cannot begin to explain how wonderful of a team we have here at Jackson Madison County General Hospital and how closely we work with the EMS and air transport teams to get the patient where they need to be," said Emily Garner, RN, Clinical Manager. "It's all about what's best for the patient and getting the artery open as quick and safe as possible. I am so pleased to say as well that we have numerous stories such as this one that show complete passion about what we do and the drive to get the patient back home to their family healthy!"