A busy owner of a hardwood flooring business, Boleslaw Papiez, 57, endured chest pain and shortness of breath for five days. On Dec. 6, he could barely walk across the street to his brother’s house, so he went to the Edward Hospital Emergency Department in Naperville.
He also called his cardiologist, Stanley Clark, of Midwest Heart-Advocate Medical Group, who met him in the ER. Dr. Clark knew that Papiez needed an angiogram based on tests that had already been done and his worsening symptoms, which were typical of blocked arteries in the chest.
Papiez was moved to Edward’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where Clark performed the angiogram, which uses X-rays to view the heart’s blood vessels.
But within minutes, Papiez’s blood pressure dropped.
“It’s not uncommon for someone so critically ill to get symptoms just from the angiogram,” Clark says. “Mr. Papiez had so little blood flow to his heart that just an injection of dye into the arteries sent him into arrhythmia and shock.”
Clark was joined in the cath lab by Dr. Mark Goodwin, medical director of Edward Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab and interventional cardiologist with Midwest Heart-Advocate Medical Group, and Dr. Timothy Larkin, also an interventional cardiologist with Midwest Heart/Advocate Medical Group. Also on hand was Dr. Bryan Foy, medical director of cardiac surgery at Edward Heart Hospital and cardiothoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates.
The cardiac team began interventions, including manual CPR, multiple shocks, medications, and a balloon pump put in by Clark.
To transfer Papiez to the OR for open heart surgery, it was important to establish sustained CPR because his heart was not functioning on its own. Instead of assigning several people to take turns doing manual CPR, the staff could use the hospital’s LUCAS 2 automated chest compression system, which offered several advantages.
“Doing manual CPR is strenuous, people get tired,” Goodwin says.
“The machine frees up staff to do other things. If you’re moving a patient from the cath lab to the OR doing manual CPR, the person administering it has to walk next to the bed or climb on top of it. Neither situation is conducive to the best CPR.”
Edward acquired the LUCAS 2 in 2012. It was the first Chicago-area hospital to adopt this technology, and it’s still one of only a few Chicagoland hospitals that have it.
Goodwin attached the transparent portion of the device to Papiez’s chest where it remained for an hour, performing consistent, high-quality CPR. Once in the OR, Papiez was put on a heart/lung bypass machine, the CPR device was removed, and Foy performed successful triple bypass surgery.
Papiez woke up two days later, wondering what happened, though he did remember when his “lights shut down and everything was hazy and in slow motion.” When his family told him the story, he said, “It was like a miracle.”
“I didn’t see the CPR machine, but I’m grateful for it and for the doctors, especially Dr. Clark, Dr. Foy and Dr. Goodwin — that’s why I’m alive,” he says. “They made all the right decisions. I’m extremely pleased with the whole team, including the nurses. They didn’t stop trying to bring me back.”
“Saving this man’s life shows how important it is to have an experienced, well-trained cath lab and OR staffs, as well as a seamless working relationship between cardiologists and surgeons,” Foy says.
Papiez is in cardiac rehab and says he “feels almost ready to go back to work.”
The LUCAS 2 helped ensure that his brain received sufficient oxygen so that he was spared any neurological side effects.
“This is unusual after such prolonged CPR,” Goodwin says. “It speaks well of the quality of the technology.”
For information about services provided by Edward Heart Hospital, visit www.edward.org/heart.
Health Aware is a weekly column courtesy of Edward Hospital.