By: Jen Russon
When Bruce Davis began to feel ill, he suspected he had COVID-19.
“Prior to going to the ER, I had chills. I was sweating. I just didn’t feel good at all,” said Davis, who lives in Coral Springs.
Within minutes of presenting himself at Broward Health Coral Springs, Davis learned he was experiencing a heart attack.
Specialists treating him at the Level I Adult Cardiovascular Program included Mohamed Osman, MD, director of interventional cardiology in the facility’s state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab.
“Dr. Osman was just great. He made me feel calm and safe and that everything was going to be good. The care was unbelievable, second to none,” said Davis, who was grateful for the procedure he underwent.
The cardiology team injected Davis with a contrast dye through a catheter to make his arteries more visible on an X-ray screen.
They pinpointed the blockage while they stabilized Davis, performing a full battery of tests that presented ‘the big picture’ of what they were dealing with and how to create a recovery plan going forward.
“This is the beauty of going to a hospital with a cardiac catheterization lab. Our team can be ready for the arrival of the patient and rapidly stabilize, medicate and expedite care to our in-house cardiac catheterization lab,” said Gary Lai, D.O., chief of emergency medicine at Broward Health Coral Springs.
In addition, the hospital has been designated as a Level 1 Heart Program by the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA), which means that the most acute heart attack patients will be able to receive critical interventional care. As a newly accredited ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) program, Broward Health Coral Springs can now treat patients presenting with heart attacks with an angioplasty procedure if deemed appropriate.
Davis said it wasn’t just his cardiac team’s expertise that saved him. He also credits the quick thinking of a nurse he encountered in the Emergency Department.
“She must have had a sixth sense,” said Davis, recalling the nurse took one look at him, stopped what she was doing, and said, ‘take him inside and put him on an EKG machine. Now!’”
The electrocardiogram results were in Dr. Osman’s hands before he met Davis, giving him a head start on ensuring the best clinical outcome for his patient.
The digital imaging collected on Davis told a story that was quite different from what he suspected before visiting Broward Health Coral Springs.
Fortunately, Davis made the wise decision to go to the ER.
Not all Floridians seeking quality cardiovascular care are as lucky as Davis, which is to say, not all hospitals are created equal.
The Level 1 Heart Program and Cardiac Cath Lab at Broward Health Coral Springs follows a long tradition of cardiac excellence within the health system, which includes 50 years of expertise in cardiac programs. While the heart program relatively new to Broward Health Coral Springs, the Broward Health cardiac team has decades of experience caring for patients requiring advanced cardiac services.
During National Heart Month, Broward Health Coral Springs continues to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and urges the public to put aside lingering misgivings about seeking emergency care. COVID-19 symptoms can, for some, mimic a heart attack. COVID-19 can also weaken the heart and lungs. With the clock ticking and heart muscle dying, patients could be in full cardiac arrest, and if not given the care they need, the prognosis is less than favorable.
No matter the reason – chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or any other symptom – patients experiencing discomfort should immediately seek medical attention by going to the Emergency Department or calling 911.
To register for heart health education events, explore offerings during National Heart Health month, visit www.BrowardHealth.org/Heart.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.