Help in a Hurry - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Help in a Hurry

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WSVN -- Just over a year ago, Barbara Franklin suddenly started having severe chest pains.

Barbara Franklin, Had Chest Pains: "I thought I was having a heart attack, because the pain was bad."

The 48-year-old ended up spending days in the hospital, while doctors tried to pinpoint what was wrong.

Barbara Franklin, Had Chest Pains: "I was here for two days, and I went through a lot of testing. A lot."

After days of waiting and worrying, she finally got the news she was OK.

Barbara Franklin, Had Chest Pains: "Just stress, overweight."

Recently, she wound up back in the ER with more chest pains.

But this time, testing went much quicker.

Barbara Franklin, Had Chest Pains: "I was out in ten hours. One test took care of everything."

Doctors in the emergency room at Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute are using a new process for low-risk patients with chest pain to get a faster diagnosis.

Dr. Ricardo Cury, Radiologist, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular: "With one test, we are able to tell if patients can be discharged home and they don't have disease, or if they have a heart attack and need further intervention."

The test is called Coronary CTA. It's basically a CT scan and computer that gives doctors a very detailed 3D picture of the heart.

Dr. Ricardo Cury, Radiologist, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular: "The images are synced with the beating heart, and we are able to acquire motion-free images of the heart and the coronary vessels."

The test only takes minutes, so there's no waiting around for results or other tests needed.

Dr. Ricardo Cury, Radiologist, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular: "It detects if there is blockage, and if there is any plaque buildup, and allows us to decrease the time in half, so patients will stay ten to twelve hours and have a very accurate diagnosis."

Fifty-one-year old Michael McFadden came in with chest pains, and in less than 24 hours, he had the results.

Michael McFadden, Had Chest Pains: "The doctor walked in with some technology that blew me away. He showed me everything about my heart, showed me all the veins, the arteries."

Doctors at Baptist are also using iPads to show patients the pictures of their heart.

Michael McFadden, Had Chest Pains: "He actually showed me the tiny blockage that I had, which he said was minimal for someone who is 51 years old."

Michael is leaving the hospital with good news, and ways to make his heart healthy.

Michael McFadden, Had Chest Pains: "He just wants me to change my lifestyle, little bit more exercise, slight diet change."

Richard Lemus: "An extra benefit of the CTA: Patients are exposed to less radiation."

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