VWCH relaunches interventional cardiology programAug. 1, 2022, 4:10 PM
by Emily Stembridge
Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital (VWCH) has launched a percutaneous coronary intervention program to treat patients diagnosed with heart attacks and coronary artery disease. The launch comes after performing a successful cardiac intervention — VWCH’s first in several years.
“This program represents a significant investment in the highest quality of cardiac care for our patients in Wilson County. We can now provide this care closer to home for those who live in Wilson County,” said J. Scott McCarver, MHA, President, Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital.
“With these developments, we are able to bring contemporary technology and treatment to patients in Wilson County with heart attack or coronary heart disease,” said Xiangke Huang, MD, MBBS, MS, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. “With this new program, we can provide treatment for heart attacks in a timely fashion to save the heart muscle, which ultimately saves lives for patients in the community.”
As the two physicians staffing the new Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute interventional cardiology clinic, Huang and Ahmad Arham, MD, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, provide diagnostics, imaging and coverage capabilities for a full spectrum of cardiovascular diseases.
The clinic is patient-centered, easily accessible and serves as a venue for patients to gain access to additional cardiovascular care at VUMC’s downtown campus if needed, Huang says.
After performing a STEMI drill with Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto in early June, Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute’s goal for the clinic is to build 24/7 STEMI networks with coverage at VWCH and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital.
“We are so proud of the team we have built to serve Wilson County,” said Lori Martin, VWCH senior director of Radiology, Surgical & Procedural Services. “We have performed several cardiac interventions to date, which allows the patients and families to stay in their own backyards and receive world class care with our healing touch.”
The first of those cardiac interventions took place in early June. On the way to work, Lebanon native Donovan McCord felt uncomfortable, so he turned his car around and drove to his doctor’s office. By the time he reached the office, located next to VWCH, he knew the situation was serious.
“I thought it was a heart attack by the time I reached the office,” said McCord. “No chest pain, shortness of breath or arm pain. More cold-like symptoms and loss of blood flow. I knew I wasn’t right.”
VWCH acted swiftly, evaluating McCord before transferring him to the OR. The electrocardiogram revealed signs of inferior S-T elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) involving the right coronary artery.
Huang performed the interventional heart catheterization, placing a stent to open his blocked artery. Arham oversaw his care in the ICU the following day. McCord recovered quickly without taking pain medication, returning home after spending two days in the ICU.
He is thankful for the care he received and jokingly states that the staff had to put up with him for three days.
“I felt great,” added McCord. “I was ready to leave. But the people at VWCH took great care of me. If I traveled somewhere else, I probably wouldn’t have made it. I’m very appreciative of the staff and doctors here. I have the opportunity to live again, and I plan to make the most of it.”
There was additional peace of mind for McCord by being treated at VWCH. His niece, Amber Shrum, is currently an LPN at the hospital working in COVID-19, med-surg and cardiac units. His sister and mother worked at VWCH for decades.
McCord plans to start his cardiac rehab program soon so he can return to one of his loves — caving explorations. In the meantime, he is back on the job and savoring the extra time he has with his family.