Developing chest pain wasn’t on former airline and air force pilot Jim Hanley's “to-do” list. For four months, the periodic pain continued until one day, Jim called the paramedics. “The pain was so bad, I asked them to take me to the closest hospital,” the 74 year old Huntington Beach resident recounts.
It was there in the emergency room that Jim first encountered Rodney Ranaei, DO.
“Dr. Ranaei ordered a stress test and in reviewing the results, said I probably needed an angiogram.” Unfortunately the hospital they were at did not perform them, however Fountain Valley Regional Hospital & Medical Center (FVRMC) did.
Already a designated Cardiac Receiving Center and an accredited facility in Echocardiography, the hospital is additionally the only facility in Orange County to have an accredited Chest Pain Center. Only centers that meet or exceed quality-of-care measures set for diagnosing and treating heart attacks earn this prestigious honor.
Jim underwent an angiogram at FVRMC that revealed he had a 70 percent blockage in one artery. The FVRMC cardiovascular team inserted a stent to keep the occlusion open and the blood flowing.
“That solved the plumbing problem,” Jim notes. But nearly a year later, he developed palpitations that disrupted the rhythm of his heartbeat. He went back to Dr. Ranaei.
“We gave Jim an EKG, and that confirmed he had an atrial flutter,” Dr. Ranaei says. He recommended a simple ablation, an inpatient procedure that uses a catheter and small electrodes to deliver minute bursts of energy to the heart muscle sending faulty electrical signals.
“Ablation can cure certain heart conditions so patients don’t need to take medications,” notes Dr. Ranaei. “These therapies provide a lot of benefit for most patients with rhythm problems and can significantly improve their quality of life.”
Jim feels lucky to have found the care he needed—twice.
“I stayed in Fountain Valley Hospital two times in the last year, first for my angioplasty and again for my ablation. Everyone did their jobs remarkably well,” he states. “They were professional, businesslike, and I appreciated the thoroughness of care provided by the nurses on the unit.”
The best part is that he is back to the rhythm of his active lifestyle.