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When seconds matter, teamwork saves lives

April 18, 2017

On Friday night, March 17, Chuck Margarites, Sr. and his wife Jeanne were driving home in Westfield after a dinner out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Chuck began experiencing chest pains and thought that it might have been something he ate. The pain worsened and Chuck began to sweat, prompting Jeanne to tell him to pull over so that she could drive him to the Emergency Department at Baystate Noble Hospital.

The couple arrived at 9:09 p.m. and were greeted by Dr. Murdoc Khaleghi, the attending ED physician and a team of Emergency Department nurses including Lynnette Milidakis, who would be Chuck’s primary nurse. An EKG was obtained and within minutes a code STEMI was called overhead. Chuck had experienced a STEMI, an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, a serious heart attack in which a coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle is unable to receive blood.

Teamwork = Success

The code set off a carefully practiced series of events at Baystate Noble. ED staff, lab, radiology, worked in concert while the call was placed to the on-call interventional cardiologist at Baystate Medical Center, who transferred the patient and ensured that all was ready when the patient arrived. Westfield EMS arrived at Baystate Noble to transport the patient – just 22 minutes after Chuck arrived at the hospital.

Chuck’s son, Chuck Margarites, Jr., director of Critical Care Services at Baystate Noble Hospital was out of town and had received a text to call his ED team back in Westfield who caught him up to speed on the situation. By 10:20 p.m. the cath lab team at Baystate Medical Center had placed a life-saving stent in Chuck Sr’s artery and luckily there had been no discernible damage to his heart. Chuck Jr. was able to fly home to be with his dad in the hospital where his father told him that he remembered the crushing pain being completely gone once the stent was placed. He was discharged from Baystate Medical Center three days after his procedure.

Community Care

Baystate Noble Hospital has been an original and active member of the western Massachusetts Regional Myocardial Infarction Program,” says Dr. Aaron Kugelmass, chief of Cardiology, Baystate Medical Center. “Mr. Margarites’ care reflects the true team work throughout the MI program; the blocked artery was opened within 80 minutes of arrival at Baystate Noble, beating national standards. This level of coordination is difficult to achieve on a regular basis, and that is what has been accomplished through the Myocardial Infarction Program, as Mr. Margarites’ story exemplifies.”

“My family lives here. Westfield is my community. I want the medical care here to be the very best,” said Chuck.” We are working to ensure that critical services are in place including high quality teams throughout our health system. We work very closely and drill with Westfield Fire Department for these types of events. Our community trusts that we will be there for them when they need us most. They were there for my family and I’m so proud of and thankful for my team here at Baystate Noble,” he added.

"Being a part of Baystate Health, we work closely with Baystate Medical Center and we have front line access to a tremendous full service cardiac center,” Chuck said.

Thanks to his wife's quick thinking and the exceptional teamwork and coordination between the staff at Baystate Noble and Baystate Medical Center, Chuck is alive today and enjoying every moment he spends with Jeanne, Chuck, Jr. and the rest of his family.