Saving Lives in Record Time

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital breaks the Henry Ford Health System record for door-to-balloon time

Randolf "Randy" Resi was puttering around his basement on March 18, happy at the thought of receiving a tax refund, when he felt his chest begin to tighten.

The soft-spoken, 66-year-old retired sheet metal worker climbed the steps of his home and was having difficulty catching his breath. His wife sat him down, gave him an aspirin, and called for emergency medical services technicians.

Resi was having a heart attack because one artery was 100 percent blocked and three others had significant blockage. An EMS crew rushed him to Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, performing a field EKG on the way and transmitting the data to hospital staff so they were prepared for his arrival.

"They were ready for me," Resi said, still marveling at his treatment. "My information was even sent to a doctor's smart phone. They knew exactly what had to be done."

The ability to send the information in advance of Resi's arrival meant it took only 12 minutes from the time he came into the hospital for staff to clear the blockages and avoid further complications. The time that elapsed was less than the hospital's pledge to treat such cases and far below the national average for treatment times. Resi has been dubbed "Mr. 12 Minutes" because the quickness of his care set a new Henry Ford Health System record. He was able to go home the next day.

"I got very lucky," Resi said. "I wasn't aware my arteries were clogged. I had gone for regular physicals and even had a stress test a few years back. Nothing came up. I was very fortunate."

The 12 minutes it took for Resi's care shattered the previous hospital record of 32 minutes, performed by Dr. Elizabeth Plemmons and Dr. Ameen Abulmalik last year. Dr. Abdulmalik, a cardiologist, and Dr. Nada Khogali treated Resi.

Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital does not track times for bragging rights. Every minute saved, helps to ensure that blood flow to the heart is not blocked. This decreases the chance of heart tissue dying. It is a team effort aimed at one goal -- saving the patient. This type of coordination of care earned the hospital designation as an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, the only hospital Downriver with such an honor.

“What is important is the total participation and focus on the patient, from the wife, to the EMS team and the doctors at hand," said Jay Pockyarath, director of cardiovascular services. "Everybody performed their roles and did the right thing."

Resi retired about eight years ago, but still worked part time to keep busy. He stopped smoking more than 40 years ago and switched to a more healthy eating routine after a friend had a heart attack about 20 years ago.

"I thought I was in good shape," he said. "I cut down on eating red meat and was exercising. Working construction for more than 30 years keeps you in good shape."

In June, Resi wore shorts and a t-shirt, looked as if he was ready, and fit enough to run a marathon as he nimbly moved around his home. He shyly deflected compliments on how well he looks following his ordeal, but admits no longer needing an early bedtime.

"I used to fall asleep early at night," he said. "I would just get so tired. Now, I feel so good that I kind of forget what happened. I have no problem staying up until 11 p.m. anymore."

Resi said he sometimes reflects on how lucky he was that so many beneficial factors came into play as he suffered a heart attack: his wife quickly giving him an aspirin and calling for help, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital staff able to quickly receive information and prepare for his arrival and the excellent staff that cared for him.

"I had a lot of things working my favor," Resi said. "I am very fortunate because I had no idea my arteries were blocked. They (doctors) told me it was hereditary."

Two months after his scare, Resi still has not decided if he will go back to work. He said he likes spending mornings playing golf with neighbors.

"I like being home; I am not worried about work," he said. "Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital took great care of me. It was like in their commercials on TV. I was the lucky recipient of great care."

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