Radio Host Hal Turner suffered an apparent heart attack Saturday afternoon in his home town of North Bergen, NJ. He was taken by Ambulance to Christ Hospital in Jersey City where he has been admitted to the ICU.
At about 3:45 PM Hal was driving to a local Shop Rite supermarket. During that drive, he began experiencing a heaviness/discomfort in his chest.
Upon arriving at the ShopRite located in the Columbia Park Shopping Center at 31st Street and Kennedy Boulevard, he developed a sudden weakness in the muscles in both arms and a sudden tightening in his jaw. He then broke out in a sweat.
Hal parked the car and sat for a few minutes figuring the pain would stop. It didn't.
He got out of his car to get some fresh air, but found he was so weak he couldn't stand without leaning on a shopping cart. A few minutes later he decided maybe he should just drive home so he got back in the car. He quickly realized he felt as though he might pass out.
At that point he realized there was no more denying what was happening and he called the North Bergen Police for help; telling the Dispatcher "I think I'm having a heart attack."
Within minutes, the local North Bergen Emergency Medical Services were on the scene along with police. Turner's Blood Pressure had skyrocketed to 210 over 110, his pulse was rapid and his breathing labored. The EMS crew administered 4 chewable aspirin at 81mg each, took vitals and moved out,
Turner was transported to Christ Hospital in Jersey City.
On arriving, Blood was drawn, an IV was established, and a chest x-ray taken.
In the Emergency Room, an EKG showed changes consistent with an occlusion or restricted blood flow to the heart. Turner was given nitroglycerin to relax his arteries and improve blood flow. He was administered 2mg of Morphine via IV Push. He was given a "load dose" of Plavix blood thinner and started on an IV drip of Heprin blood thinner.
Conscious and alert, he was moved to the ICU but was told explicitly HE IS NOT AN ICU CASE - they only had beds in ICU, but he did not need acute care.
Blood tests reveal Troponin in Hal's blood. Troponin is the enzyme released by Cardiac tissue as it is damaged or dies. It appears in the blood stream 3-4 hours after a heart attack and can remain for 10-14 days,
The fact that Troponin is in Hal's blood confirms a heart attack.
Docs say they will probably perform a Cardiac Catheterization on Monday to take a look inside Hal's Heart to see if there are clogs or what else may be going on,
Will keep you posted.
UPDATE 11:00 AM EDT EASTER SUNDAY--
It happened again . . . last night . . . in the ICU. Hal got chest pain, labored breathing and broke out in a full sweat, This despite being on serious meds and on oxygen.
ICU staff gave two nitro glycerin pills. No relief. After 5 minutes, two more nitro pills. No relief. Doc called, EKG taken:
Left Axial Deviation
Left Anterior Infarction of unknown age
Normal Sinus Rhythm
Final two more nitro pills given.
Blood drawn, Troponin Level 0.3
IV of Nitro started. Pain subsided.
Hal ate breakfast this morning; scrambled eggs, wheat toast, potatoes, Orange Juice, Coffee.
UPDATE 1:05 PM EASTER SUNDAY
After the second bout of chest pains which happened in hospital last night, the Troponin level in Hal's blood skyrocketed to 2.77
Eight hours later, in another blood test done this morning, the Troponin level climbed to 3.0
This is no good. It confirms the presence of dead cardiac cells.
The hospital fed him Vegetable soup, Ham, Sweet potato, green beans, for lunch and a small piece of cake for desert.
UPDATE 7:55 PM SUNDAY --
The hospital has scheduled Hal for Cardiac Cathatarization tomorrow morning at 8:00. This will involve inserting a camera inside his artery, via either a leg or arm, to actually go inside Hal's heart to look at the condition of his cardiac blood vessels.
If no obstructions are found, Hal will be discharged tomorrow.
If obstructions or other problems are found, there are several possibilities:
1) Stent(s) - to hold open any blocked blood vessels
2) A balloon to stretch any narrowed blood vessels, OR
3) If Blockages are found that are too numerous or too serious for stents or balloons, then By-Pass surgery may be needed but that cannot be done at this hospital.
Therefore, it is now possible there will not be a live Hal Turner Show this coming Wednesday - depending upon the results of the cardiac cathetar in the morning,
SOME COMMENTS BELOW REMIND READERS THAT THIS IS TYPICALLY FUND-RAISING WEEK FOR NEXT MONTH. Hal spoke about it on last Wednesday's radio show. Thankfully Hal has private health insurance which will help with the severe medical costs of his heart attack. But it would be a real shame if the guy got home and found that no donations came in and he was thus out of business due to this health trouble. So please donate as you normally would. The link to donate is HERE.
Those who prefer to mail cash, check or Money Order cand send it to Hal's house at:
1906 Paterson Plank Road
North Bergen, NJ 07047-1902
UPDATE 9:10 AM MONDAY 4-22 --
Hal Turner underwent cardiac catheterization at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, NJ this morning. The procedure went well and Hal got thru it OK. The results, however, are not OK'
Left Anterior Descending (LAD) cardiac artery is 80% blocked by plaque
Left Circumflex cardiac artery is 90% blocked.
There is also some blockage on the right side cardiac artery but we are unclear on which artery or its percentage,
Stents are NOT an option. By-Pass Surgery is required.
Hal will be transferred to Englewood Hospital today, and By-Pass surgery will likely take place on Tuesday.
UPDATE 4:50 PM MONDAY --
At 12:00 noon, McCabe Ambulance Service was called to transport Hal from Christ Hospital in Jersey City to Englewood Hospital & Medical Center in Englewood, NJ. The transport went fine.
On arrival at Englewood, the IV,'s on both Hal's arms had to be replaced; turns out one hospital does not necessarily use the same type IV tubing and connectors as another hospital, and the connections didn't fit!
Hal then underwent numerous blood draws.
The Surgeon came in to meet Hal and made clear that since Christ Hospital gave the medicine PLAVIX, Hal cannot undergo By-Pass surgery until that drug leaves his system or else it could cause bleeding complications. So initially, the earliest possibility for surgery is this coming Thursday. Maybe Wednesday, but it depends on how fast Hal's body clears the medicine.
The Doc pointed out that many, many, people are able to be treated with Stents and that Plavix is perfectly fine for stents. But it is not fine for surgery so there will be a delay
Next, The hospital did an EKG, sent a technician in to do an Ultra-sound of Hal's Heart, and another technician to do an ultra sound of Hal's Carotid Arteries and perform a "Vein Mapping" on Hal's legs so Doctors know where they can cut to get veins to use for replacement piping during the By-Pass surgery.
Next, the Cardiologist came in to talk and told Hal that the plaque inside his coronary arteries is very long and thin. Stents cannot be used for that, and when the By-passes are installed, they will likely be the entire length of each clogged artery. Interestingly, the clogged artery will remain connected and open for whatever little bloodflow may get through it. The new is IN ADDITION TO the old, not a replacement of the old.
Obviously there cannot be a Hal Turner Radio Show live this Wednesday. We are trying to figure out if we can get a sit-in host or will just air a repeat.
More news as we get it,.