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Hamilton Fish

Crouse Patient Story 2“The pain was a crushing pressure — something I just knew was a heart attack.”

Name: Hamilton Fish, Skaneateles, NY
His Crouse Story: Still Dancing After Saying "Take Me to Crouse."




Hamilton Fish

Sixty-nine-year-old Hamilton Fish looked forward to a summer evening with his wife, Fran. Both were eager to hit the dance floor at a fundraiser at Skaneateles Country Club, but neither imagined that Fish would, in fact, be lying on the floor before the night was over. “My wife and I danced three fast songs in a row,” he said of that Friday night. “We sat out the next one. Suddenly, I didn’t feel quite right. The pain was a crushing pressure — something I just knew was a heart attack.”

Skaneateles Ambulance Volunteer Emergency Services (SAVES) arrived within minutes. Fish doesn’t remember all that happened during his 48-minute ride to Crouse Hospital. He does recall, though, that a team was ready for him when he arrived.

The information SAVES provided on Fish’s condition  activated a “code stemi,” part of an initiative begun at Crouse in 2008 to improve “door to balloon” (D2B) time. D2B is defined as the time it takes from when a heart attack patient comes through the ED doors to when the blockage is cleared in the heart artery using a balloon stent.

“Time is muscle,” says Joseph Battaglia, MD, medical director of cardiac services at Crouse. “Reducing door-to-balloon time keeps a small heart attack from becoming a big heart attack — one that could ultimately result in heart failure.”

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