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
“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,”
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.