The Power of Teamwork
The first symptom she experienced was a loss of energy. Before long, she began feeling a shortness of breath. "I was close to passing out," Elizabeth Schwaab recalled.
She knew something was terribly wrong.
Elizabeth had two large blood clots in her lungs, which were affecting her heart's ability to pump blood, and her ability to breathe. This situation, called a pulmonary embolism, is very serious, and often fatal if not caught and treated very quickly.
Elizabeth was rushed to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center where it was promptly determined that she would require a procedure called a pulmonary embolectomy, where a catheter is inserted through the heart and into the lungs to remove clots. Shady Grove is one of very few hospitals in the area where this procedure is performed. Several specialists and service lines were involved in her care, including physicians in the intensive care unit, the catheterization lab, and vascular specialists. “A tremendous coordination of effort is required in a case like this,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wang, the vascular surgeon who performed the procedure on Elizabeth.
Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center is recognized for its commitment to high level patient care and quality testing for the diagnosis of vascular disease, providing comprehensive diagnostic, interventional, and surgical vascular services. The vascular services team works closely with internists, radiologists, general surgeons, plastic surgeons, podiatrists, cardiologists, pulmonary doctors and others to diagnose and treat a variety of cases.
Elizabeth credits her full recovery to a dedicated team, which included Dr. Wang and internist Dr. Brian Carpenter, among others, who worked seamlessly together to save her life.