“In an acute heart attack, the heart muscle begins to die within 20-60 minutes”. Dr. Eduardo Balcells

In January, interventional cardiologist Eduardo Balcells, M.D., and the Pardee cardiac catheterization lab team performed their 100th percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). A PCI, also called a coronary angioplasty, is a nonsurgical procedure to open up a coronary artery narrowed by plaque buildup where stents are placed to restore blood flow to a portion of the heart that was compromised.

Bill Sinclair knows from his own experience that minutes are critical during a heart attack. He was working in his yard when he began experiencing what he thought were minor heartburn symptoms. Barbara, his wife of 44 years, disagreed with his self-diagnosis and drove him immediately to Pardee’s emergency department. Bill was admitted within minutes and Dr. Balcells informed him that he was indeed having a heart attack. His treatment involved implanting a stent in an artery that was 99 percent blocked!  Bill received his life-saving therapy within 33 critical minutes of his arrival at Pardee.

The specialized cardiac care that Bill received has not always been available in our community.  Many of our neighbors have had to make the frightening trip to Asheville to receive treatment for an active heart attack.

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