Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Quick diagnosis saves life

by Ann L. Fouty

August 30, 2012

Winda Pendleton credits the doctors of Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe EMS with saving her life.

She had a heart attack in her Detroit garage in May. Escorted by police, her son, Donald Robinson Jr., drove her to Beaumont, and within 30 minutes she had been diagnosed with a blocked artery and needed emergency angioplasty.

Angioplasty surgery was performed by Hiroshi Yamasaki M.D. who inserted a stint and Pendle-ton was on the road to recovery. People die quickly from such conditions as blocked arteries, he said, thus the need for action 30 to 60 minutes from the onset of a heart attack.

“Many people die from heart attack,” he said. “Within 30 to 60 minutes we start to see people die, definitely within an hour. Longer than that the heart muscle will die.”

The surgery was accomplished because the state recently had approved the performance of emergency angioplasty at the Grosse Pointe site.

At 61 years old, Pendleton had spent her day at Chrysler, where she works as an ergonomic analyst. Prior to heading home, she visited her ailing mother.

Pendleton said she was tired and thought she had been spreading herself too thin after working the weekend and caring for her mother. Since her son was also visiting his grandmother, she said she was going to go home to rest. On her drive home, Pendleton started coughing and became short of breath. When she didn’t see her husband’s van in the driveway, Pendleton called her son asking if he could come to her as she wasn’t feeling well. Pendleton said she never suspected a heart attack thinking heart attacks were very painful and she had no pain.

Pendleton pulled into her garage and, as she stepped out of the car, her legs gave way and she collapsed. Her son arrived and called 9-1-1. When the ambulance didn’t come as quickly as the two thought it should, her son put her in his car, followed the police to the hospital.

Yamasaki said Pendle-ton’s prognosis is good and “she is doing well.”

He goes on to explain women’s heart attack symptoms can be different than a man’s symptoms.

Warning signs of a heart attack:

* Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back,

* Feeling weak, lightheaded or faint,

* Chest pain or discomfort,

* Pain or discomfort in the arms, shoulder or between the shoulder blades,

* Shortness of breath.

For women, the symptoms can also include:

* Indigestion or nausea;

* Profound or sudden weakness and fatigue;

* Constricting sensation in your throat.