Grandmother Meets Her Rescuers
She was used to going on 100 mile hikes, but at Age 71 she began having trouble breathing and called 911. One month later she is revisiting her ordeal along with her family and her two rescuers.
At first she didn’t know how serious it was, but the EMT Elena Sokolova and paramedic Steve Coffin didn’t take any chances and got her to the hospital right away. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a disease that interferes with breathing and gets worse over time. Steve noted that the pre-hospital EKG also showed a heart attack, “but there was no chest pain so I called the emergency room to see if a Cardiac Alert should be called”. McKee Medical Center’s Cardiac Alert program ensures Loveland-area patients experiencing a heart attack get the quality care they need in the shortest time possible. Cardiac Alert is a process which allows patients experiencing a heart attack to be taken directly to the catheterization lab, bypassing the emergency department.
It was a long transport down the canyon and the heart specialists were waiting when they arrived. The doctors found that her heart had only 20% of its normal blood flow. “Broken Heart Syndrome” is a temporary heart condition brought on by stressful situations like breathing problems. The symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome are treatable, and the condition usually reverses itself in about a week. Carolyn said later, “They both had a quiet sense of calmness and safety about them and this made me feel better. I’m not sure I’d be here if it weren’t for them.”
Elena said that having an excellent training program here at TVEMS and a system of care that includes 911, EMS, first responders and hospitals made the difference. When people think of a heart attack, they often picture the "Hollywood Heart Attack": someone grips their chest in pain and collapses to the floor. While chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, not everyone experiences this during an event. In fact, women are less likely than men to feel chest pain during a heart attack.