Friday night, Dan had pizza and a few beers with his wife, Betsy, and another neighborhood couple. They had a good time and walked home shortly after midnight. When he wakes up Saturday morning, he feels a little strange — he is still very tired, a bit nauseated and light-headed – but attributes it to the previous night’s indulgences. As he is brushing his teeth, he feels a mild pain in his chest and arms, but he decides it’s simply heartburn or indigestion. He chews a couple of antacids and drinks a glass of water, and then Betsy hears the sound of glass shattering on the tile floor. She jumps up and races to the bathroom where she finds Dan on the floor taking rapid, shallow breaths.
Betsy calls 911. The operator tells her to give Dan an aspirin and unlock the front door so that the EMTs can come inside. The ambulance arrives about ten minutes after Dan takes the aspirin, but to Dan and Betsy it seems longer. The EMTs quickly place Dan on a stretcher and wheel him into the ambulance. Betsy climbs in and they race to the hospital. In the ambulance, an EMT takes Dan’s vital signs and notes that his color is pale, his pupils are dilated and he is taking shallow breaths.
At Hitech Medical Center’s emergency department (ED), Betsy answers questions from an admitting clerk while Dan is wheeled away and hooked up to a rolling oxygen tank and a heart monitor.