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5/1/2012 3:00:00 AM EASTERN
Updated: 5/1/2012 12:27:24 PM EASTERN
For more information, contact Ed Newmeyer.
New Castle area man grateful for heart attack treatment at Sharon Regional

New Castle ambulance squad chose Sharon Regional

The heart attack symptoms of chest pain and acid reflux started at work for Harold “Skip” Rubeis, assistant manager of a Wine & Spirits Store in Neshannock Township, Lawrence County. A store clerk called Lawrence County 9-1-1, Noga Ambulance Service was dispatched, and Harold, 53-years-old, was quickly assessed with an electrocardiogram (EKG) by the ambulance team.

Noga paramedic/EMT Andy Pratt asked Skip if he had a hospital preference.

“I only wanted to get rid of the sharp pains,” Skip recalls of that February day. “The Noga attendant (Pratt) chose Sharon Regional for its heart attack treatment abilities.”   

Skip says Sharon Regional’s cardiac response team, cath lab team, and Ronnie Mignella, M.D., FACC, board certified interventional cardiologist, met the ambulance carrying him at the doors of Sharon Regional’s Emergency Care Center.

Studies show that people having a heart attack have only about 60 minutes to get a blocked artery opened. The American College of Cardiology and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services have established guidelines for how soon a hospital must treat a patient having a heart attack once they arrive to the hospital. The guidelines recommend that patients be taken to the cath lab to have their artery opened within 90 minutes of arrival to the hospital. This is known as the "door to balloon" time.

In this case with Skip, Sharon Regional’s “door to balloon” time of 39 minutes was well below the national guidelines and one of the lowest times at the Health System. This was all to Skip’s benefit.

“I am very happy I was taken to Sharon,” Skip says. “It was a very scary experience but everyone was fantastic. All the nurses, doctors---everybody. I was taken care of very well.”

After a four-day stay in the hospital, Skip is recovering at home and recently started cardiac rehabilitation at Sharon Regional.

Skip lives in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, and served 24 years in the Army National Guard, Butler.