Emergency planner lands in Salem Hospital emergency room

Jan 28, 2015

After more than three decades of working in law enforcement in Salem and McMinnville, Wayne McFarlin is now the emergency preparedness administrator for Salem Health.

“I have a healthy lifestyle,” said McFarlin. “I thought I was in excellent shape.”

That suddenly changed when McFarlin thought he had indigestion. A trip to Salem Hospital’s emergency room revealed something more serious: Dr. Paul Gramenz, the ER’s medical director, found McFarlin was having a heart attack.

Dr. Raghu Kamineni, a cardiologist with Salem Heart Center, discovered an 85 percent blockage in one of McFarlin’s arteries and inserted stents to restore adequate blood flow in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab.

Later in the hospital’s cardiovascular care unit, McFarlin learned his heart attack had caused minimal damage. “It was reassuring to know that I was going to be okay,” he said. Hospital rehab staff taught McFarlin a safer way to enjoy running, plus dietitians encouraged him to eat more heart-healthy fruits and vegetables.

“It’s really important for people to know that even if they think they’re in excellent health, things change,” said McFarlin. “People need to be aware of their bodies, be listening to what their bodies are telling them and be ready to get care when they need it.”

Make sure to watch the video Salem Health produced about McFarlin.

February 2015 is American Heart Month and the perfect time to learn more about heart health. Salem Health is offering special events throughout the month—from free health screenings to several informal luncheons hosted by cardiologists from Salem Health Heart & Vascular Institute. Find more details online at salemhealth.org/heart/heart-month.php.      

Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. The prestigious 2015 Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals named Salem Hospital among the highest performing hospitals in the nation—and the only Oregon hospital, and one of two Pacific Northwest hospitals, to receive this honor. “Like” us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter; and view us at YouTube.

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