Unity Medical Center and AirEvac Honored by TriStar Centennial Medical Center

From left to right are: Brian Harbison, Air Evac; Shana Harbison, Air Evac; patient James Martin Jr.; Tara Mann, RN; Dr. Luis Portilla; Not pictured is Melody Gilliam, RN.

TriStar Centennial Medical Center honored Unity Medical Center of Manchester and Air Evac Lifeteam of Coffee County during a presentation on Tuesday for excellent regional collaboration of care and stabilization, saving a patient’s life who was experiencing a severe heart attack.
The “HEART CARE” Award was established by TriStar Centennial for Heart Emergency and Rapid Treatment Care and Recognition of Excellence to honor medical centers and emergency medical services personnel involved in providing outstanding transport of cardiac emergencies for TriStar Centennial to initiate a “Code STEMI,” or ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction that is activated when a patient presents with cardiac arrest due to a completely blocked blood supply.
According to the American Heart Association, in 2016, over 350,000 people experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with a 12% survival rate to hospital discharge.
James Martin Jr. is fortunate to be alive today thanks to the lifesaving care provided by Dr. Luis Portilla and team at Unity Medical Center’s emergency services department, air medical services with Air Evac Lifeteam, Dr. Paul Myers, interventional cardiologist with Centennial Heart, and the cath lab team at TriStar Centennial.
“When experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, time is crucial for survival and can be the determining factor between life or death,” said Ken Ware, Chief Nursing Officer at Unity Medical Center. “The clinical expertise, efficiency, high-quality care and communication Unity Medical Center and Air Evac Lifeteam demonstrated was instrumental in beginning coronary intervention and allowing for minimal damage to be done to the heart. Streamlined care protocols and teamwork saved Mr. Martin’s life,” said Jim Drumwright, Chief Operating Officer at TriStar Centennial Heart and Vascular Center.
Mr. Martin’s wife took him to the ER at Unity Medical Center after he was experiencing chest pain and sweating at work, and within 90 minutes, he was flown to TriStar Centennial’s cath lab with his completely obstructed artery opened. After successful revascularization, Dr. Myers performed a stent placement and Mr. Martin was back in Manchester after two days of hospitalization.
“At Unity Medical Center, we are constantly evolving to improve how we deliver care to our community. This recognition is a reflection of how the collaborative efforts of our local air ambulance service, Air Evac, emergency department team, and interventional cardiology teams at Centennial Medical Center are improving processes and protocols to increase the chances of survival for heart attack patients,” said Martha McCormick, CEO at Unity Medical Center.
“Thank you to everyone for all they have done for me. Unity Medical Center, Air Evac, and Centennial Medical Center gave me another chance at life,” said Mr. James Martin Jr.