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Record-Breaking Heart Attack Care

record breaking heart attack care
John Barchi, who had a heart attack in November, is once again hiking the desert trails with his dogs, Owen and Winston, after treatment at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital.

John Barchi woke up with tightness and pressure in his chest.

He figured the weird feelings would pass. After all, he's only 60 and jogs and hikes regularly.

But Barb Barchi, his wife and an oncology nurse, knew better and loaded him into the car.

They left Anthem, planning to go to the hospital where she works; however, it was too far to drive when they remembered the John C. Lincoln cardiac commercials about the quick door-to balloon times. It's measured from the time a patient arrives at the hospital having a heart attack until the artery is unblocked and blood flow is restored. They decided John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital would be their best bet.

"I was scared we weren't going to get that far, and I flashed on that commercial, which was so accurate. Your cardiac care was spot on," she said. "Everything happened so fast that by the time I called our adult kids, everything was fine."

An EKG in the emergency department showed that John was not having a heart attack — yet. His symptoms were signs of one or more blocked arteries that could cause a heart attack without medical treatment.

Plans were made to admit him for further tests. Chris Stewart, RN, one of the emergency nurses caring for him, thought he still didn't look right even though his vital signs were in the normal range.

He pushed to have him go straight into the cath lab, a treatment room for cardiac tests and procedures. That's where John had the heart attack, and cardiologist Tri Nguyen, MD, gave him life-saving treatment to unblock his artery.

"Our cardiac program is so strong, and we have great protocols and standing orders that allow us to treat patients quickly and efficiently," Stewart said. "When we have a patient suspected of having a heart attack or about to have a heart attack, as a group, we all jump in there and take care of that patient. That was a great day at work."

The national guidelines call for door-to-balloon treatment in 90 minutes or less because the quicker the treatment, the less damage to the heart. John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital consistently exceeds the standard, with some of the best door-to-balloon times in the Valley.

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John's time for treatment — 14 minutes — doesn't count because he wasn't having a heart attack when he walked in the door.

"He had a miracle outcome. In fact, he made me go out and buy a lottery ticket because we felt so lucky. We actually never buy a ticket," Barb Barchi said.

By that afternoon, he retired high school counselor and Realtor was feeling well enough to joke about how he should be he hospital's next TV star. "I don’t have a lot of experience with hospitals, but everyone here has been excellent," he said.

"Since the day after this happened, I have felt great. Right now, I'm walking/jogging two to three miles most days and enjoy hiking. I really feel that it was amazing the way this all happened, and I appreciate the fantastic care that I received from everyone, but especially from Chris in Emergency, Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Sharareh Saadat, MD, the hospitalist."

His grandson, Blake, who visited that evening with his older brother Tristan, however, summed up the experience the best: “You picked a perfect place to have a heart attack."

John C. Lincoln Hospitals have the highest state and national accreditations for emergency heart care available. Learn more at JCL.com/heart.

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