February is Heart Month – Howard County Resident Learns the Importance of Calling 911
Columbia, Md. – As he finished dinner on Oct. 2, Bob Kronberger was focused on preparing for an evening meeting…the last thing on his mind was a heart attack. “I got up from the table
and was sweating like crazy,” he explained. “I laid down and felt pain in my chest, but I was in total denial. I didn’t think it was any kind of emergency.” It was Bob’s wife, Barbara, who insisted they call 911. “I said ‘no way’ but she was adamant and thank God she did. I really credit her with saving my life. People like me will try to get out of calling 911, but someone has to take charge and make the call and she did it!”
When a heart attack happens, delay in treatment can be deadly. Learn the warning symptoms of a heart attack, and know the single most important thing you can do to save a life: call 911 immediately for emergency medical care. Bob Kronberger is thankful that his wife insisted on making that call.
When firefighters and paramedics arrived, the electrocardiogram (EKG) showed that Bob was in the middle of a specific type of heart attack, called a STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction). “The paramedic said, ‘we are taking you to the hospital you’re having a heart attack’,” said Bob. “Once I heard her say it out loud, everything felt real – that’s when I got scared.”
Because of the strong, cooperative relationship between Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the Howard County General Hospital Emergency Department, the EMTs were able to activate the hospital’s Heart Attack Team of physicians, nurses and technologists, so that the cardiac catheterization suite was prepared for his arrival.
“When I got to the emergency room, I felt like a rock star with all of these people gathered around me,” said Bob. He was whisked off to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, where interventional cardiologist Feroz Padder, M.D., was able to remove the blood clot that was creating a 100 percent blockage in Bob’s right coronary artery and place a stent to keep the artery open.
“From the 911 call takers, to the staff at the hospital to our paramedics – it’s really because of great partnerships like these that we can bring about the best patient outcome,” said Kevin Seaman, M.D., HCDFRS Medical Director. “It’s also important to emphasize the importance of learning CPR because bystanders can make all the difference in helping save someone’s life.”
In the months since his heart attack, Bob has been participating in HCGH’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program. With the help of supervised exercise sessions and educational presentations about healthy eating and lifestyle, Bob says he has a whole different attitude on life. He has lost 30 pounds and is making healthier food choices.
“My whole experience has been great,” says Bob.
HCGH’s Cardiac Catheterization Program is co-chaired by Peter Johnston, M.D., from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and George Groman, M.D., from HCGH.
Additional Helpful Information
Heart Attack Symptoms
- Chest pain or pressure, tightness, squeezing, burning, aching, or heaviness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Profuse sweating
- Unusual discomfort in left arm or jaw
- A choking sensation
- Anxiety or a feeling of impending doom
- No symptoms occur with a silent heart
View a special video explaining the differences in heart attack symptoms between men and women, presented by Adrian L. Preston, M.D.
What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
- Call 911 immediately
- Cardiologists recommend chewing one adult aspirin while waiting for emergency responders to arrive.