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David Erickson 

David Erickson

Innovation highlight

New mobile app helps doctors treat heart emergencies

Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern has launched a mobile app to ensure that the latest protocols for treating any cardiovascular emergency are easily accessible to care providers and EMS professionals. The app was funded by Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. Since it was launched in October 2016, it has been downloaded more than 900 times from five different countries.

Mr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack

On a steamy, hot day last August, David Erickson, 52, was headed for home. He and his son had just finished work at a landscaping job site and stopped to buy water at a convenience store.

“I remember feeling like I had overexerted myself, just by walking into that store,” said Erickson. Several minutes later, the chest pain kicked in. Erickson told his son to step on it and drive to the nearest emergency room.

Life-saving care in minutes

When they arrived at Abbott Northwestern – WestHealth in Plymouth, staff rushed out with a wheelchair and helped get him into the building. By then, he was sweating so profusely that the monitor leads wouldn’t stick.

Then it became a blur. Baby aspirin. Three shots of morphine. An oxygen mask. The emergency room doctor leaning in close and saying very calmly, “Mr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack.” And within 14 minutes, an ambulance transfer to Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Fortunately for Erickson, he was at the hospital that set a national standard for treating cardiovascular emergencies. Within 10 minutes of his arrival,doctors were opening one blocked artery using angioplasty. But a second blocked artery, a chronic total occlusion, could not be treated with traditional angioplasty. It required a specialized procedure that was performed a month later. Again, Erickson was at the right place -- Minneapolis Heart Institute® doctors are national leaders in treating this type of blockage.

Right team, right place, right care

Erickson has made a full recovery, thanks to cardiac rehabilitation and a renewed commitment to keeping himself healthy. “Actually,I felt better almost immediately,” he recalled. “Now I feel like I’m back in my 30s -- I can go for a brisk walk or work out without feeling like I’m over doing it.”

He is grateful for the care he received, beginning at Abbott Northwestern – WestHealth. “The WestHealth team got me to Abbott Northwestern quickly – they really saved my life at that point. Then when I arrived at Abbott Northwestern, everything there was ready to go. And I was very lucky that they had the right doctors there who were also able to open the second artery.”

Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern offers leading-edge care for any cardiovascular health need. Much of its innovative work is supported by philanthropy, including that provided by the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation and its generous donors.