Pomona Valley Hospital Says Thank You to Emergency Medical Personnel
Frances Woody of Pomona (left), a 2010 stroke survivor, hugs her grandson Sam Dominick of Rancho Cucamonga. Dominick is a fireman from La Verne. Woody was on the phone with Dominick when she began to experience her stroke symptoms. Dominick told her “Hang up and dial 911 immediately.” Those words help Woody successfully survive her stroke with no residual complications. Woody returned to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) last week, where she received medical care following her stroke, to help the hospital’s cardiovascular and emergency department staff say thank you to the local fire personnel and other Emergency Medical Services personnel at hospital’s annual EMS Thank You Breakfast.
By. Naomi Bonman
IVN Staff Writer
POMONA, CA- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are a key component in the chain of events for many stroke and STEMI (an ST-elevated myocardial infarction-heart attack) patients. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) hosted an EMS Open House Breakfast to thank EMS personnel for their dedication to heart attack and stroke survivors.
The event was held on Thursday, February 23. Four of the survivors were present at the breakfast, including Fran Woody, Cynthia Pabis, Dusty Callow and Larry Feemster. The breakfast was a simple gathering where attendees were able to talk to the survivors and listen to their experiences. Each survivor was relatively healthy with little or no prior visits to the hospital before their strokes.
Woody, 89, was talking to her grandson on the phone when her words started to slur and the left side her face went numb. Her grandson immediately called 9-1-1. She was transported to the hospital where she was given a CT scan and a tissue plasminogen activator (tpa) to break up the blood clots. Woody was in the emergency room for several hours and was later transferred to the Incentive Care Unit (ICU) where she stayed there for several days before getting released to go home. “I got better and came out great. I have no side effects,” Woody said.
Pabis was a healthy person who had never been to the hospital aside from giving birth to her children. She had been taking a walk with her husband when she started to not feel too well and felt a pain in her arm, so she walked back to the house instead of calling for help right then in there. Two days later she made an appointment with her doctor who immediately sent her to a cardiovascular professional.
“Women don’t understand that it’s a big deal. The word has to get out, life is too precious. If you feel any of the symptoms, call. Don’t wait for someone to drive you,” Pabis said.
Pabis now eats healthier and exercises regularly in order to keep her heart healthy.
Callow, 43, was also a healthy person before encountering his stoke, “I never smoked and had low cholesterol,” he said. In the summer of 2011, he was playing in a father-son football game at Diamond High School. A few minutes before the game was over, he started not to feel well and had a pain in his stomach and in a matter of minutes he went from not feeling well to flat lining. In December, he went through triple bypass surgery and the doctors were able to save his life.
Callow encourages others to get checked out by their doctor on a regular basis. “Don’t let the excuses stop you. If you feel any symptom that’s enough to go get checked out,” he said.
EMS’ are dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care, transporting to definitive care and other medical transport to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves. The goal of most EMS’ is to either provide treatment to those in need of urgent medical care with the goal of pleasingly treating the presenting conditions or arranging for timely removal of the patient to the next point of definitive care. EMS’ are also known as first aid squad, emergency squad, rescue squad, ambulance squad, ambulance corps or life squad.
PVHMC’s Emergency Department and the Stead Heart & Vascular Center have jointly worked with EMS personnel in the past several years to develop and implement PVHMC’s ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center for Los Angeles County in 2008 and also for the San Bernardino/Riverside Counties in 2009. In 2011 PVHMC was approved by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and was then included as a part of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency’s Approved Stroke Centers. Last December PVHMC became one of two hospitals to form the initial Neurovascular Stroke Receiving Center for the Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency (ICEMA). ICEMA covers the three-county area of San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties.
“It is the strong partnership with EMS in the various counties that allow us to save the lives of many STEMI and stroke patients,” Deborah Keasler, director of the Stead Heart and Vascular Center (SH&VC), said.