Flaget’s expert staff helps save Bardstown man’s life
Hospital wins Chest Pain Center accreditation
This past September Lanny Baker’s heart attack hit. He was driving home from a weekend retreat. First it felt like stomach trouble.
“I felt like I had indigestion,” the Bardstown realtor said.
The sensation didn’t get severe until he reached home at 6 p.m.
“It was a pressure and pain that went straight through my chest to my back,” Lanny said. The pain was so intense it scared him and his wife, Celie.
Celie called 911. Paramedics got to his house within minutes. In the ambulance, “they gave me four aspirin and told me to chew them up. On the way, they gave me nitroglycerin.”
He recalls hearing the paramedics radio his condition to Flaget Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department staff. Then Lanny was wheeled into an ED treatment room where “people were everywhere. They were ready for me.”
Dr. Charles Sowder and Dr. William Sither were the ED doctors on duty.
“They gave me something for pain that worked really fast,” Lanny said. “They were telling me what was going on all along. They knew exactly what they were doing – it was very obvious. I felt so reassured by that.”
In no time they gave Lanny a “clotbuster” drug, explaining they were stabilizing him so he could be safely airlifted to Louisville. In Louisville, a cath test revealed a 100 percent blockage in a cardiac artery. A stent was placed in that blood vessel.
Because of the fast, expert response of the paramedics and ED staff, there was no damage to Lanny’s heart muscle, he said. Because of a dedicated staff, he is still alive today.
“I was blessed because I was able to get to the hospital in a hurry,” he said. “I feel eternally grateful to the Lord, to my loving family, and to the great staff at Flaget.”
This past spring Flaget Memorial won Chest Pain Center accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. The award came after a year of preparation and teamwork between dispatchers, paramedics and Flaget Hospital staff, Dr. Sowder said.
“Hospitals that earn this accreditation treat heart attack patients much more quickly and effectively during the critical 90-minute window when the heart muscle can be preserved,” the physician said. “When a facility achieves Chest Pain Center status, it means you have demonstrated that you have created a system that is state-of-the-art for treating heart attack patients. This is already saving lives.”