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2011: Immediate Treatment Increases Heart Attack Victim's Survival
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Immediate Treatment Increases Heart Attack Victim's Survival


Paramedics Provide Vital Information to Assist in Patient’s Getting Quicker Care

WINFIELD, Ill., February 15, 2011 – According to the American Heart Association, heart attack is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Treatment within 90 minutes upon hospital arrival increases chances of survival.

Pictured: Winfield resident Susan Carr acting in the Wheaton Drama production of "Noises Off" with Douglas Orlyk.

Ignoring symptoms often leads to delayed treatment. Care begins with paramedics, so dialing 911 is the key to a rapid recovery. In 2010 at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) heart attack patients arriving by ambulance received critical treatment 20 minutes sooner on the average than those who were driven to the hospital. And to a heart attack victim, every minute is crucial.

A heart attack usually occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery — a blood vessel that feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle. Interrupted blood flow to the heart can damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle. Common symptoms include severe chest pain, shortness of breath and sweating. However, women are less likely than men to experience chest pain and for women breathing problems or nausea may be the most prominent symptoms.

Fifty-three year old Winfield resident and community theatre actress Susan Carr was back stage between acts of a popular play when she just didn’t feel right. “It wasn’t the most horrible pain I could imagine, but it was chest pain and pressure in my arms,” said Carr.

Fortunately, her partner, Doug Buethe, and the stage manager recognized the possibility she was having a heart attack and called 911. “I’m very lucky I wasn’t home alone. Because the pain wasn’t severe, I would have second guessed myself and not sought immediate treatment,” Carr emphasized.

In the ambulance, paramedics were able to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) and transmit the results to CDH where an emergency department physician diagnosed a heart attack. This allowed the cardiologist and specialized team to gather and be ready to treat Carr as she arrived at CDH.

Doctors were able to immediately do angioplasty and insert two stents into the blocked artery.  Carr has done very well. Now she follows a regimen of good nutrition and regular exercise. She and Buethe are able to enjoy their retirement and continue to be active in the local theatre scene.

At 53, Carr didn’t have the typical risk factors for having a heart attack. She doesn’t smoke, is not obese or diabetic, her cholesterol is under control and she has no family history. The heart attack took her by surprise, but because her “behind the scenes” supporters insisted she get help quickly, she will have many more curtain calls in the future.

About Central DuPage Health
Central DuPage Health is the parent company of Central DuPage Hospital (CDH). CDH is a nationally recognized 313-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. CDH is a leading center for medical technology, one of the busiest surgical hospitals in Illinois and has achieved Magnet® recognition for excellence in nursing services.

For the last four consecutive years, Thomson Reuters has listed CDH as a 100 Top Hospital in the U.S. CDH is affiliated with other healthcare leaders, including regionally known Children’s Memorial Hospital for pediatric care and, most recently, nationally known Cleveland Clinic for cardiac surgery.

Central DuPage Health is an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services, home health and hospice care. For more information or to find a doctor on the medical staff of CDH, visit www.cdh.org or call 630-933-4234/ TTY 630-933-4833 for the hearing impaired.

Christopher King
630-776-5373 (cell)