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CPR at the Cinema: Stranger & Swift Emergency Response Saves Life

04/30/2019
CPR at the Cinema: Stranger & Swift Emergency Response Saves Life

In the US, one in four Americans die of heart disease every year1. In Napa County, it is the second leading cause of death2. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, skilled emergency responders and Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s (QVMC) recently designated Blue Cross Blue ShieldBlue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care—a 44-year-old Napa resident lived to tell his story.

Boris Guillome was watching previews at the Century Napa Theatre when he felt a tightness in his chest. He staggered to the lobby where a maintenance custodian from the theatre helped him to a bench, then everything went black.

Serendipitously, Sean Reiswig decided at the last minute to take his family to the movies that day. He saw Guillome fall to the floor. Reiswig’s own father had died from a heart attack exactly two weeks earlier. He knew the signs, symptoms—and most importantly—how he could help. While the theater’s maintenance custodian called 911, Reiswig checked Boris for breathing, rolled him on to his back and began CPR.

“It was surreal. Things aligned that day,” said Reiswig.

Napa City Fire Department paramedics arrived minutes later and contacted QVMC’s Gasser Emergency Department (ED) while resuscitating Guillome by shocking his heart with an assisted external defibrillator (AED) and conducting an ECG. Forty-eight minutes after he arrived at QVMC—and 90 minutes after he collapsed—St. Joseph Health Medical Group Cardiologist, Andrew Wong, M.D. had performed an emergency angiogram, placed a stent and stabilized the patient.

As a designated STEMI-receiving center, QVMC meets and exceeds the national standard of 90 minutes for ‘door to balloon time’ (the time a patient arrives in the ED to the time the stent is placed to open the clogged artery).

“That 90-minute window is critically important,” said Dr. Wong. “The faster a physician can restore vital blood flow, the less likelihood there is of long-term damage to the heart muscle. The patient has the best chance of a full recovery and optimal outcomes when we beat the clock.”

In this case, QVMC provided this care nearly twice as quickly as the national benchmark. Earlier this year, QVMC’s cardiac team was recognized with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care for delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on the procedure Guillome had--percutaneous coronary interventions (angioplasty with stent)—as well as cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft.

“This recognition distinguishes our cardiac center as an exceptional place to receive care when you have a heart attack or go into cardiac arrest,” said Larry Coomes, Chief Executive at QVMC. “Our talented care providers are dedicated to helping patients have the best outcomes.”

Queen of the Valley offers CPR classes throughout the year to Napa community members. For upcoming classes, visit thequeen.org/classes.

1 https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

2 https://www.countyofnapa.org/716/Data-Publications

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