Heart Month: Martin Brown and Code Purple

One patient's story of how UH Samaritan and UH Elyria collaborate to save lives.

Written by: Jill Hartson

Martin Brown never had issues with his heart, so the heart attack that struck on April 30, 2017 was a shock. Fortunately, the 55-year-old electrician is living life to the fullest thanks to the Code Purple program at UH Samaritan Medical Center and UH Elyria Medical Center.

Code Purple protocol addresses the urgency of stabilizing heart attack victims to ensure they are in UH Elyria's operating room 90 minutes or less after leaving UH Samaritan. According to Lisa Bushong, Chief Nursing Officer at UH Samaritan, the immediate response of staff at both medical facilities, “Saves lives and ensures improved patient outcome following a heart attack."

Brown, pictured here with Paula Bailey, RN (left) and Monica Adkins, RN (right), had two stents inserted at UH Elyria where he spent four days recovering. Thanks to the care he received at UH Elyria and his customized cardiac rehabilitation program at UH Samaritan, Brown quickly returned to his everyday activities with no restrictions.

Looking back on that warm spring day, Brown now knows his excessive fatigue and nausea were early signs of a heart attack. But, having just spent two days helping his son remove mature trees and knowing he was “somewhat overweight and not as young as he used to be," he easily brushed aside the symptoms.

Over 800,000 people die in the U.S. every year from heart attacks. On average, 50 percent of those patients displayed, but ignored, the warning signs. While Brown experienced excessive fatigue and nausea with his heart attack, other symptoms include: chest pressure; aching or burning; feeling of fullness; pain that travels down one or both arms; jaw pain; anxiety; back pain and shortness of breath.

Even if the symptoms are mild or come and go, seek immediate medical care. After all, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. February is Heart Month, designated to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it.

About Code Purple
A Code Purple initiates the rapid response of a highly trained medical team to care for patients presenting at the emergency department with a STEMI (ST elevated myocardial infarction) or an acute heart attack caused by the blockage of a heart vessel. Upon diagnosis, the patient is stabilized for emergency transfer to UH Elyria.

When the patient arrives at UH Elyria, the catheterization lab team and the interventional cardiologist perform an emergent heart catheterization, restoring circulation to the patient's heart. This reduces or prevents permanent heart damage and even the possibility of death.

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