After suffering chest pain, an Upper Marlboro physician chose to see the experts at Washington Adventist Hospital

It was soon after Delbert Perkins, M.D., experienced unexplainable chest pain one evening that he put his heart and his trust in someone else’s hands.

At his internal medicine practice in Upper Marlboro, Md., Perkins obtained an electrocardiogram (EKG), which records the heart’s electrical activity. He could tell by the results that something was wrong and requested his wife take him to the Emergency Department at Washington Adventist Hospital.

“I’ve referred many of my patients to Washington Adventist Hospital for cardiac care,” Perkins says. “Every time they come back from heart procedures, I always see that they get the best care.”

Looking Further into the Results

When he made it to the hospital, Perkins was no longer experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack. His second EKG results were normal.

George Ho, M.D., emergency physician, recognized there was still cause for concern. He found that the first EKG reading showed signs of an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a critical type of heart attack. Dr. Ho acted quickly and called a “code heart.”

“At Washington Adventist Hospital, a ‘code heart’ increases staff awareness of a heart attack patient and rapidly mobilizes the necessary resources,” Dr. Ho explains. “It is a team approach that allows us to work as quickly and effectively as possible to save heart muscle and give our patients the best outcome.”

A Team Springs to Action

Anees Ahsan, M.D., interventional cardiologist, was immediately paged and alerted of Perkins’ condition. “As an accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital’s cardiac team continually demonstrates its commitment to coordinated care and rapid, lifesaving treatment. We work together to provide exceptional care for our patients.”

Dr. Ahsan performed an emergency cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure where a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the coronary artery to produce an X-ray of the heart.

“We quickly discovered we were dealing with a life-threatening blockage,” Dr. Ahsan says. “One of his major arteries was 99 percent blocked.”

Dr. Ahsan successfully removed the blockage and restored blood flow to the heart by placing a stent in the artery. Thanks to the action of the team at Washington Adventist Hospital, Perkins was able to recover from his heart attack and return home the next day.

“They were very aggressive in getting me in and treated,” Perkins says, “which made all the difference in my recovery.”