University of Miami offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was a busy man — so busy that when he experienced tightness in his chest and other symptoms of cardiac problems in May, he ignored them for as long as possible.
But, as a story in the Palm Beach Post relates, it was just a matter of weeks before the symptoms were so painful that Stoutland was unable to do his regular workouts.
“I was getting crushed,” Stoutland told the paper. “I couldn’t go any longer.”
The 48-year-old coach made an appointment for a cardiac stress test. The results of the treadmill stress test were so dramatic that Stoutland was taken off the treadmill mid-test and admitted to the hospital. Just a few hours later, he underwent open-heart surgery to clear three blocked arteries.
Research at Columbia University Medical Center found that stress testing can be a life-saver for people like Stoutland who have chest pain but are not suffering a heart attack. Every year, more than 5 million people seek medical care for chest pain. Those who are having heart attacks can be diagnosed using electrocardiograms (EKGs), but for the rest, chest pain is often attributed to anxiety or physical activity.
The Columbia study, published in the June 15, 2003, issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, found that patients with chest pain who undergo a stress test have a significantly lower death rate that those who are not given a stress test. One of the reasons for the difference is that treadmill stress tests, which reveal blood flow deficiencies, can identify underlying coronary artery disease — blockage such as what Stoutland suffered.
The results of the study led to the creation of a chest-pain protocol, which includes recommendations for stress tests, at Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Allen Pavilion at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Stoutland is now back at work coaching the Hurricanes. He advises others to do what he didn’t: Take care of their health, and visit the doctor if they have chest pains.
- Quinton Q-Stress cardiac stress machine
- Quinton TM55/TM65 stress treadmill
- Quinton Q-Tel cardiac rehabilitation management system
- Quinton CR60 rehabilitation medical treadmill
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