Heart doctors at Johnston Memorial Hospital unveil new live-saving service


ABINGDON, Va. - Heart doctors at Johnston Memorial Hospital Thursday morning unveiled new technology now available to them at the hospital.

This 24-hour service can mean the difference between life and death for heart attack patients.

Jannie Roush from Cleveland, Virginia says she wouldn't be here without it. It's been a month since her heart attack and she still can't believe it.

"I came in a little bit in denial even coming through the door here and I told the nurses, I said, 'I can put myself on the table.' They said, 'No, you don't move anything,' says Roush.

As she stands in the same operating room, Roush tells News 5 it's surreal to be back.

"A blessing to be able to be here and to see everything that was done to actually help me," adds Roush.

We found out from Doctor John Patterson that women typically are the ones most in denial when it comes to heart disease because they're always putting others needs before theirs. He says this new cath lab is the beginning of a transition for Johnston Memorial, and another way they can help save people's lives. 

"We're providing the opportunity for our local citizens in our region to have better outcomes to hopefully have better survival," says Patterson.

The state-of-the art operating room is equipped with a digital camera. If a patient were to experience more chest pains after their initial surgery, these screens allow doctors to pull their original film from anywhere in the hospital. Without the new services, patients would have to travel anywhere from 30 minutes or more for this type of treatment.

As Patterson points out, every minute counts.

"30 minutes increases a patients mortality by 7.9 percent," he adds.

Roush received treatment in just 23 minutes, and was back to work two weeks later.

"I don't know if I had waited to get to a hospital that was farther away from my home that I would have actually survived it," Roush adds.

The heart care services at Johnston Memorial Hospital are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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