Kansas Man Saved from Heart Attack by 10-minute Screening

Kansas Man Saved from Heart Attack by 10-minute Screening

03-01-2019

Calcium Score Screening Leads St. Joseph Doctors to Find Four Blockages in Heart of Man without Symptoms; Hospital Lowers Screening Cost to $40

Curiosity led William Holland, a 70-year-old Kansas native, to have a calcium score screening last December at St. Joseph Medical Center. Little did he know that decision would save him from a potentially catastrophic heart attack. At the time of his screening, Mr. Holland was not experiencing chest pain or typical heart attack symptoms, so he was surprised when received an urgent call from his cardiologist office and was asked to come in the next day for more testing.

Mr. Holland’s calcium score of 3,000 meant that he was at great risk of heart attack and there was a 90% chance that one or more of his arteries were blocked by plaque, which is a build-up of calcium, fat and residue. A coronary calcium screening measures the presence of calcium in the arteries during a short 30-second CT scan taken in the imaging department. The entire screening process typically takes 10 minutes and doesn’t require bloodwork. A calcium score of zero means no calcium is present, 11-100 indicates mild heart disease while a score between 100 and 300 is associated an elevated risk of heart attack. A score greater than 300 indicates a large amount of plaque is present and the chance for heart attack is high.

Due to Mr. Holland’s elevated score, he received stress testing which showed severe coronary artery disease including total occlusion of the right coronary artery. Doctors recommended immediate open-heart surgery and a quadruple coronary artery bypass was performed at St. Joseph Medical Center by Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. John Forman, MD, FACS, the very next morning – a short two days after Mr. Holland’s initial calcium screening.

“William was very fortunate that he was able to catch the coronary blockage before suffering a heart attack,” said Dr. John Forman, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at St. Joseph Medical Center. “Because we were able to perform bypass while he was healthier, William avoided further damage to the heart and other potential complications of a heart attack. His recovery will also be easier because he was stronger before his surgery.”

“This screening saved my life,” said Mr. Holland. “I am beyond thankful for the nurses, staff, and providers at St. Joseph Medical Center who assisted in my care. The staff at the Healient office, surgery, ICU and CCU were very efficient and caring. My surgeon, Dr. Forman, and my cardiologist, Dr. Lundgren, were excellent. They are thorough and explained everything in a way to put myself and my family at ease,” he continued.

Mr. Holland was eager to share his story in the hopes of reaching others with the message that heart attacks can happen to anyone and that they don’t always occur with chest pain. Mr. Holland’s wife, Sidney Holland was thankful and relieved by the outcome. She encourages others to go through the screening and was recently screened herself. “The calcium score gives you a starting point at a low cost for preventative care. If you are at an age, have family history, overweight, sedimentary life style but otherwise consider yourself healthy, this test is an easy inexpensive way to be sure,” said Mrs. Holland.

Dr. Craig Lundgren, Mr. Holland’s interventional cardiologist recommends anyone over the age of 40 with risk factors have the calcium score screening.

To make this important screening more accessible to the community, St. Joseph Medical Center has permanently reduced the cost of the calcium score screening to $40 – the lowest price in the city. The screening takes about ten minutes and doesn’t involve needles, prep, pain, or a physician’s referral. Call 816-943-4799 to schedule your appointment today.

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