"Follow your heart" is now Southold, NY, resident Curtis Winkler’s mantra. Late last month, while he was on business in Freeport, NY, he felt slight chest pain. Winkler tried to work through the pain but his body was telling him he shouldn’t ignore the signs. He drove himself to Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). The ED team performed an electrocardiogram, one of the fastest tests used to evaluate the heart, and it revealed that Winkler was having a heart attack.
The ED team activated a Code STEMI to ensure Winkler received life-saving intervention as soon as possible as “time is muscle.” Within 11 minutes, he was in the St. Francis Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Mercy Hospital where a team of doctors and nurses were ready for his arrival. Within 49 minutes, Winkler received a balloon angioplasty that cleared the blockage and reestablished blood flow to his heart. His door-to-balloon time of 49 minutes was much faster than the national requirement of 90 minutes.
“Timely diagnosis and treatment is vital in cardiac emergencies. Having a St. Francis Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab on location has offered a large number of residents quick and easy access to exceptional cardiac care,” said Director of the St. Francis Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Mercy Hospital Sidharth Yadav, DO. “While the medical teams performed phenomenal life-saving interventions well within the required time, I’d also like to acknowledge Mr. Winkler’s timely decision to go to the ED as it ultimately saved his life.”
In 2020, the St. Francis Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Lab opened at Mercy, offering immediate and on location cardiac care to patients who present at the hospital with a heart attack or other significant cardiac emergencies. The Lab at Mercy provides local residents with access to lifesaving procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention, which uses a catheter to place a stent to open the heart's blood vessels that have been narrowed by plaque build-up.
The Lab at Mercy is backed by St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® (Roslyn, NY) cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists and others who have expertise in all types of heart surgery and is staffed by interventional cardiologist from St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®. This includes coronary artery bypass surgery to the newest, minimally invasive valve procedures, including surgical techniques designed to treat certain cardiac arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms.
The expanded St. Francis Heart Center cardiac services at Mercy joins St. Francis Heart Center at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, NY. St. Francis Heart Center will be further expanded to offer cardiac services at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, NY, in the fall, with the opening of a new cardiac catheterization lab.
To find a Catholic Health physician near you, please call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362). Learn more about St. Francis Heart Center services.