Kathy Brown read about and heard of Sharon Regional’s outstanding emergency diagnosis and rapid treatment of heart attacks. But the Hartstown, Crawford County, woman never expected to experience it.
This changed last September when sudden chest, shoulder, and jaw pain occurred while working at home with her two horses, and caused Kathy, age 50, to insist that her mother, Darla Palyo, drive her to Sharon Regional.
“I had pain and was a little confused,” Kathy recalls, “but I knew I wanted to get to Sharon. I didn’t want to go to Greenville and probably end up in Pittsburgh. I was concerned I would have to go to Greenville if we called an ambulance.”
Once at Sharon’s Emergency Care Center, Kathy was quickly seen by the cardiac response team, cath lab team, and James Ryan, M.D., FACC, board certified interventional cardiologist. A cardiac catheterization showed the need for an angioplasty, which was performed by Dr. Ryan.
Kathy had an unusual condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection, or SCAD. This condition occurs when a split or separation suddenly develops between the layers of the wall of one of the blood vessels (artery) that provides blood flow to the heart.
“The rapid treatment we can provide isn’t available at other area hospitals and they must transfer heart attack patients to out-of-town hospitals for what is now standard heart attack care,” says Dr. Ryan. “Kathy Brown was fortunate she chose Sharon Regional for her care as her outcome may have been considerably different.”
Because of her positive experience to treat her heart attack, Kathy chose Sharon Regional for post-op cardiac rehabilitation. After six weeks of cardiac rehab, Kathy returned in early January to her position as the head cook in the cafeteria of Jamestown Area School District. She and husband, Robert Brown, also own and operate Hartstown Golf Course.
Sharon Regional identified as heart attack treatment center by regional EMS council
Heart attack treatment protocols issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health encourage pre-hospital (ambulance) providers to take their heart attack (STEMI) patients to hospitals that offer emergency angioplasty. (STEMI refers to ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, the deadliest type of heart attack).
EMMCO West, Inc., northwest Pennsylvania’s emergency medical services council, has identified Sharon Regional as the only STEMI hospital in Mercer, Lawrence, and Crawford counties, based on its advanced technology, emergency response capabilities, and physician expertise in emergency heart attack treatment.