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War veteran and Main Line resident reaches milestone blood donation after heart surgery by Lankenau Heart Institute cardiologist

Paoli Hospital June 16, 2014 News Releases

(L–R) American Red Cross CEO Robert Kessler; Paul Olson, who donated his 500th pint of blood to the Red Cross; and Matthew Goldstein, MD, Lankenau Heart Institute cardiologist.

(Bryn Mawr, Pa.) – On Thursday, June 12, war veteran and Paoli Hospital patient Paul Olson, 82, reached a milestone blood donation after recovering from heart surgery. Olson donated his 500th pint of blood to the American Red Cross Center.

Olson suffered from tachycardia, which is a fast heart rate caused by electricity in the heart beginning to short-circuit. Olson learned that due to his condition, he might not be able to reach his goal. He sought help from Lankenau Heart Institute cardiologist, Matthew Goldstein, MD, who was able to perform a cardiac ablation to correct the problem. Olson was able to make a comeback. “His only goal was to be able to continue to help other people,” said Dr. Goldstein.

Olson began donating blood at the age of 18 and it has now become routine for he and his wife, Andrea. Every other Sunday, the couple will drive from Devon into Philadelphia so Olson can donate his blood platelets. This two-hour process serves a meaningful purpose for Olson and those involved in receiving the platelets.

Cancer caused a great deal of loss of friends and loved ones in Olson’s early life. In experiencing those illnesses, he wanted to give back. Platelets are vital in cancer treatments and for those with rare blood diseases. “I encourage all my friends that it's a very worthwhile thing to do,” he said.

According to the Red Cross, there is a great need for this type of blood donation. One single platelet can provide enough platelets for a patient’s full therapeutic dose, and in some cases, even two or three doses. Regular donors, such as Olson, aid in the supply. Dr. Goldstein was present among others to congratulate Olson on his great success.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985,Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

Main Line Health also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton, King of Prussia and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare,one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence and the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Heart Institute

The Lankenau Heart Institute is Main Line Health’s premier, comprehensive cardiovascular medicine and surgery program. The Lankenau Heart Institute brings together the clinical expertise of all four Main Line Health acute care hospitals and community cardiology practices to ensure that patients receive a level of quality, service, and experience that is unprecedented in the region. Through the system-wide coordination of services, the Lankenau Heart Institute delivers preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative cardiovascular services at each of our locations including Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital.

Lankenau Heart Institute continues to be a pioneer in the use of beating-heart techniques and robotic-assisted procedures for coronary artery revascularization, minimally invasive and transcatheter approaches for valve repair and replacement, and complex aortic surgeries. With our growing experience and focus on minimally invasive techniques, Lankenau Heart Institute has expanded participation in clinical trials year over year. Our physicians are frequently invited to participate in clinical/medical device trials, many of these designed to facilitate minimally invasive procedures/approaches.

With a collaborative team of expert consultative cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and specially trained nurses and technologists, the Lankenau Heart Institute is dedicated to managing and treating patients with heart failure, aortic disease, coronary and peripheral vascular disease, heart rhythm disorders and valve disease. Our team of cardiologists and cardiac specialists provide patients and their families with expert cardiac care, close to home.

About Paoli Hospital

Paoli Hospital, a member of Main Line Health, is a 231-bed, not-for-profit acute care hospital and Regional Trauma Center with outpatient facilities in Exton and Collegeville. Paoli has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in the following areas: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, geriatrics, knee replacement, orthopaedics, pulmonology and urology. Paoli is a multi-year recipient of the Premier “Award for Quality” and Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals® for providing superior patient care, and has earned Magnet® designation for the third time for its superior nursing staff.