Interventional Cardiologist Randy Goodroe says patients are getting treatment much quicker for heart attacks now than ever before. So the once grim reality of suffering from “the widowmaker” – a heart attack that results in immediate death – has become somewhat of a misnomer. “The widowmaker occurs when the left anterior descending artery, the most important artery in the front of the heart, is totally blocked,” said Dr. Goodroe, the chest pain director at Grand Strand Heart & Vascular Care at HCA’s Grand Strand Medical Center. “When this happens, the whole front wall of the heart isn’t getting any blood… Read more.
It seems all too often that we hear tragic stories of young athletes collapsing unexpectedly on the field or court. Although these cases are actually relatively rare, we as parents often wonder how this can happen. How does a young, otherwise healthy student die suddenly without any warning signs? As a cardiologist and a parent, these stories particularly resonate with me. Especially knowing, like most things in cardiology, that these deaths can be prevented with early detection. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young, otherwise healthy student athletes. It can affect up to one… Read more.
The past couple of weeks, we have all struggled to make sense of the sudden and unexpected passing of beloved and notable entertainers – all of whom reportedly died of heart-related ailments, including, the most recent, Carrie Fisher, George Michael and Hollywood actor, songwriter, game and talk show host Alan Thicke. While fans pay tributes across the world, it is especially difficult for their loved ones during this holiday season. According to death certificate, Mr. Thicke died from a ruptured aorta three hours after experiencing a Stanford Type A Aortic Dissection. You may recall a similar situation surrounding the death of… Read more.
“Christmas coronary” is a term coined by doctors who noticed a disturbing pattern: heart attacks and heart-related problems peaking every year over the winter holiday season — specifically on Christmas, the day after Christmas and New Year’s Day. In fact, studies show that the number of heart attacks increases across ages and genders by more than 30 percent in the winter, but why? Some of it can be attributed to factors you can fight or control, like these six holiday stressors: Cold temperatures.Cold weather causes your blood vessels to constrict in your arms and legs, making your heart work harder. It… Read more.
Seven-year-old Uganda native Deborah Kisakye now has hope for a better future after being gifted her second critical open heart operation at HCA’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Our Denver-based hospital and the entire medical team donated two heart procedures to give a young girl a chance at life. Dr. Steven Leonard, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at RMHC, performed the first surgery in 2011 for baby Deborah, who was born with a complex congenital heart defect. After learning the medical expertise and equipment to treat her condition was limited in her country, Dr. Leonard and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children… Read more.
World Kindness Day was celebrated across the country yesterday, but it’s something we at HCA practice every day. Pam Percival, director of community and public relations, at Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, a member of HCA’s North Texas Division, is just one shining example of our kindness culture. During the course of her visits with 80-year-old Vickie Standley, the first patient in Texas to have her aortic valve replaced using the newly FDA approved Intuity valve system at Plaza Medical, Percival learned that the patient would need someone to care for her ranch animals while she recovered. Percival, who… Read more.
Dr. Stanley Wang seized another opportunity to save a life – this time, on a plane. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated 44,000 in-flight medical emergencies occur worldwide each year. And the cardiologist from Austin Heart, an affiliate of HCA’s St. David’s Healthcare, happened to be on one of those flights – traveling from New York City to Barcelona, Spain – when a fellow passenger collapsed due to cardiac arrest mid-flight over the Atlantic Ocean. Dr. Wang was drifting off to sleep when he heard several flight attendants shout, “Code red,” and noticed… Read more.
At 77 years of age, Pete Butler has traveled the globe. From his military service, to working in a former U.S. Senator’s office and representing military and veteran’s affairs for the state of Florida, his view of the world is broad. He emphasizes those credentials when he talks about his experience at HCA’s Capital Regional Medical Center and his belief that it is ‘second to none’ in its services and treatment of patients. “I go to the hospital three times a week for the Cardiac Wellness Program,” said Butler. “Due to a major heart blockage several years ago, I’ve had… Read more.
As we approach the end of American Heart Month, we wanted to highlight a cardiologist in our Physician Services Group (PSG). Dr. David Swett, who began his practice at Austin Heart in Marble Falls, Texas, in 1997, is one of 426 cardiologists and 3,900 HCA-employed physicians in PSG. Austin Heart is partnered with HCA and our affiliate St. David’s Healthcare. Dr. Swett, once named the physician with the highest satisfaction in the organization, discusses his experience as a cardiologist in his community in this Q&A. Read on… What is the cardiology practice like at Austin Heart in Marble Falls, Texas?… Read more.
Valentine’s Day may be over, but some may have felt the sting of Cupid’s curse. So, as the 1960s love song would ask, “What becomes of the broken hearted?” The good news is, you can recover from a broken heart. But the medical condition known as ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ is REAL. This temporary condition, known to medics as takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is often triggered by an extreme emotional or physical experience, specifically, heart break, death of a loved one, sudden illness, natural disasters, or other life-altering traumatic events. Broken heart syndrome primarily affects women between the ages… Read more.