A Life Saved on a Friday Night: Roy’s Story

Written by: Kelsey Swindler

CMH launched interventional cardiology care, to include 24/7 STEMI care, less than a month ago, and our patients – and their families – are seeing the impact first-hand. Two weeks ago, Roy Whitt was playing golf when he felt short of breath. He promised one of his caregivers he would stop in at an ER on his way home, but insisted on stopping at CMH – his hospital. When Roy arrived with severe shortness of breath in the ER, Dr. Rakesh Chawla, Interventional Cardiologist, was immediately consulted, and the emergency and interventional suite teams began testing to rule out cardiac issues.

His angiogram showed there was no blockage, but his physical appearance – white-faced with graying nose and lips – indicated something was causing cardiac distress, so Dr. Chawla performed a right-heart catheter to measure pressure on the heart. The procedure indicated elevated pressure, and so the team called in the 24/7 on-call echocardiography team to see if there might be fluid surrounding the heart. The echo showed that Roy was suffering from a condition called Cardiac Tamponade, a deadly build-up of fluid around the heart, and would need an immediate intervention.



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