Health Care

AdventHealth Gordon Makes Significant Advances in Cardiology Care with 24/7 PCI and STEMI Services

AdventHealth Gordon Cath Lab
AdventHealth Gordon Cath Lab

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 December 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.”

Heart patients can expect excellent care at AdventHealth Gordon that addresses their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The cath lab team promises to deliver individualized whole-person care to every patient every time.

“We want to show our patients just how much we care about them,” said Howe. “They did not ask to become a heart patient, but we want to come alongside them and walk the journey with them.”

After being diagnosed with a heart attack, 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 is due to start cardiac rehabilitation at the end of December where he 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.”

With the addition of AdventHealth Gordon’s 24/7 PCI and STEMI services, many lives have already been saved. The cath lab team has worked tirelessly to open blockages and restore blood flow to 100 percent for those in or at risk of cardiac arrest. Offering these services close to home eliminates the need to transfer patients to other facilities, saving heart muscle function and lives.

“Families can rest assured that they now have access to life-saving heart care at AdventHealth Gordon,” said Howe. “If the time comes where they need care emergently, we will be here to offer the best in our area. We want our community to be healthier because we are here.”

“These new services are absolutely life-saving,” said Hand. “You don’t have to drive out of town to get the services you need. This team is going to save many lives.”

Hand feels that God was there to guide him throughout his entire experience. He’s thankful for the time he’s been given and looks to make the most of it.

“This has taught me to appreciate every minute that the Lord has let me live,” said Hand. “I’m so thankful that he had a team of caring professionals in place at the exact moment I needed them. That shows me how much the Lord loves us all. He puts the right people in the right place at the right time when you need them most.”

Hand’s appreciation for the cath lab team at AdventHealth Gordon goes deep. He felt their dedication and sincerity with every interaction.

“I want to thank all the doctors and nurses and anyone who had any part in helping me get through this time,” said Hand. “They showed me compassion and that they genuinely cared. Thank you so much for caring about your job and patients.”

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