Luckily more than golfers gathered on the greens when Bruce Mason, a 57-year-old Richmond spectator, began having a heart attack during the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill Saturday, May 7.
Dizziness and mild chest pain were among the signs that something was wrong. When every minute counted, volunteer nurses, doctors, and paramedics staffing the Michelob ULTRA Open first aid station took life-saving action.
As the ambulance sped to nearby Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital, the emergency cardiac team was already being assembled at the request of Dr. Dave Cash, a Sentara emergency room physician who began care and also accompanied Mason to the hospital.
"We do this day to day in the hospital, which promotes confidence among the team. But the ability to call ahead and have our cardiac team standing by may have saved this patients life," says Dr. Cash.
Within only 66 minutes of his arrival to the hospital, Masons complete coronary artery blockage was cleared, re-establishing precious blood flow to his heart. This was achieved nearly 25 minutes under the American College of Cardiologys recommendations of 90 minutes.
"They got me the care I needed as quickly as you can possibly get it," Mason said. "I'm really thankful this hospital can do this, and Im a living example of what can happen," he continued.
This is exactly the care were here to provideopening arteries right away to help patients avoid long-term damage to their hearts, said Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospitals first interventional cardiologist Dr. Stephanie L. Goodwin.
For the first time in late January, Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital began offering the greater Williamsburg region advanced treatment for patients suffering heart attacks with the addition of Dr. Goodwin to its staff.
And it works. Since enhancing cardiac care in Williamsburg in January, more than 35 patients have undergone these life-saving procedures.
Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital sponsors the first aid presence and recruits its nurses and doctors willing to volunteer their time during the 7-day tournament known as the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill.
While the catheterization laboratory at Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital continues to perform diagnostic catheterizations, now patients are offered the full range of interventional procedures to treat heart disease. Patients needing more extensive heart procedures such as open-heart surgery or even heart transplant, have access to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, which has been ranked one of the nations top 50 cardiac programs by U.S. News & World Report for five years.