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Maudie Wayne – heart attack success story

Fast action

Collaboration between the Cedar Hill Fire Department and Methodist Charlton achieves 16-minute heart attack treatment time

Maudie Wayne – heart attack success story
Every day in Dallas County, approximately 30 people have a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association, and their survival and quality of life depend on the seamless delivery of emergency medical services (EMS).

Just ask 56-year-old Maudie Wayne, who survived a massive heart attack last December thanks to the fast action and collaboration of the Cedar Hill Fire Department and Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

“I just remember the paramedic saying, ‘Maudie, you’re having a massive heart attack, but we’re going to take care of you,” Maudie says. “He told me he was sending the hospital my symptoms so the doctors would be ready when I arrived. It was all so fast!”

By fast, Maudie means she had a door-to-balloon time of 16 minutes. Door-to-balloon (D2B) time is measured from the patient’s arrival at the hospital to the opening of the blocked artery. Reducing this time is key to increasing chances of survival and to do that, the whole emergency heart attack response system in Dallas County needs to collaborate.

Starting treatment sooner

“In 2010, every hospital and EMS agency in Dallas County came together and created one protocol for when an EMS team was dispatched to a possible heart attack call to the patient arriving at the hospital,” says Dudley Wilcoxson, EMS liaison at Methodist Charlton.

Cedar Hill EMS Chief Kevin Cunningham says the coordinated efforts and improved training have resulted in teams being able to spot heart attack symptoms and perform an electrocardiogram out in the field.

“The paramedics detected that Maudie was having a massive heart attack and immediately transmitted the information to Methodist Charlton, where the catheterization lab team could prepare for her arrival,” he says.

Tim Issac, MD, interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Methodist Charlton, led the hospital’s cardiac cath lab team that day.

“The early activation by the paramedics was integral in preserving Maudie’s heart function,” Dr. Issac explains. “This process is a team approach and gives heart attack patients the greatest chance of recovery.”

Success is saving lives

Six years after this countywide collaborative effort started, Methodist Charlton has achieved countless awards, become an accredited Chest Pain Center by The Joint Commission, and been recognized as a STEMI (heart attack) receiving facility by the American Heart Association.

“It’s an honor to receive these recognitions, especially since Methodist Charlton has doubled its patient volume all while maintaining our D2B times,” Wilcoxson says. “But none of this would have been possible — saving Ms. Wayne’s life might not have been possible — without the collaboration of the hospital systems and EMS agencies in Dallas County.”