LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Comanche County Memorial Hospital is Southwest Oklahoma's major heart attack hospital. With its advanced heart program and the number of cardiovascular doctors on staff, they work with other area hospitals to make sure the patient gets to CCMH quickly - giving doctors enough time to perform a potentially life-saving procedure during a heart attack.
To better serve the patients at both CCMH and Anadarko, they recently went through a mock STEMI transportation. STEMI is a full-blown heart attack caused by the complete blockage of a heart artery.
"I think it's something that's going to benefit all of us," said Dr. Woodson.
Once the patient comes into the hospital, they realize that they're about to have a MAJOR heart attack, the hospital staff in Anadarko tries to have the patient en route to CCMH within 30 minutes.
Once in the Cath lab, CCMH Cardiologists and their team perform a procedure like an angiogram to see the blockage and open the patient's artery within 2 hours of their arrival from a local referral hospital like Anadarko.
"By the time the patient can be transferred to Comanche County, our Cath lab team is ready to go. We meet the patient as they come into the hospital. They don't even go to the emergency room. They go straight from the ambulance or straight from the helicopter pad straight to our Cath lab and we get to work on them immediately," explained Dr. Woodson.
The hospital's goal is to have a seamless and rapid sequence from when they get to their local hospital to CCMH's Cath lab where they can intervene.
"By just practicing those maneuvers, we can identify what are the delays, what are the impediments to a rapid transition and we can work on it. The more we practice this the better we're going to be," Dr. Woodson stated.
Woodson says even though they have years of experience under their belt, having this training is beneficial for the staff here at CCMH.
"We try to continually improve and not rest on our laurels and not be satisfied with how we did things last year or 5 years ago. We're trying to continually improve, trying to keep up with all the latest things and we do that, we take our jobs very seriously," proclaimed Dr. Woodson.
When it comes to heart attacks, time is muscle so knowing the symptoms and where to go is important.