Columbia, Ill. resident Jim Gummersheimer was working out at his local YMCA recently when he collapsed. He awakened at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, where he underwent a quadruple off-pump bypass procedure Dec. 16 with cardiothoracic surgeon Seiichi Noda, MD.
Jim’s left anterior descending artery or “widowmaker” was 100 percent blocked, and three other arteries were 90 percent blocked. Fast action by nurses and a paramedic working out at the YMCA that day restored Jim’s heartbeat by using an automated external defibrillator and chest compressions.
“This is an example of how important every step of a patient’s care is, from what happens before they get to the hospital until they get to the hospital, until they get to the operating room,” Dr. Noda said. “This particular scenario has a 75-percent chance of the patient dying before they ever get to the hospital.”
Jim Gummersheimer now is doing well. His heart bypass procedure marked the 500th heart surgery of the cardiothoracic surgery program of St. Anthony’s Heart and Vascular Institute. Its first patient, Michael Albers, underwent a coronary artery bypass grafting procedure a year and a half ago.
“I knew my life was in good hands,” Michael said.
Since it was established, St. Anthony’s cardiothoracic surgery practice has implemented the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. Dr. Noda’s partner, Umraan Ahmad, MD, was part of the original U.S. trials to develop the technology in 2008 and has performed hundreds of the procedures. The practice also started the off-pump heart bypass program and the practice of rapid extubation, or awakening the patient and removing the breathing tube while still in the operating room.
“We’re just really excited to bring this level of cardiac surgery to St. Anthony’s and to be able to bring these new technologies into the hospital,” Dr. Noda said. “We’ve been able to develop a practice where we’ve been able to give people the care that they require while offering the highest technology that medicine has to offer.”
Dr. Ahmad agreed.
“Five hundred operations is a sign of the hard work everyone is doing at St. Anthony’s Medical Center,” Dr. Ahmad said. “Beyond Dr. Noda and myself and our staff, this includes our cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurse practitioners, Operating Room staff and nurses, hospital nursing staff and Intensive Care Unit staff. I’m excited to do another 500.”