DALLAS, July 15 A man suffering a heart attack recently arrived at the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas ER and was eventually treated with an angioplasty procedure in the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab in 28 minutes. The procedure, performed by Dr. Kenneth Saland, an interventional cardiologist at Presbyterian, involved using a tiny balloon to open a blocked coronary artery and illustrates the importance of providing treatments in a safe, rapid way to those suffering heart attacks.
"Research shows that the quicker a heart attack is treated the less potential damage there is to the heart muscle," Dr. Saland said. "Preserving more heart muscle helps the patient survive the heart attack and improves the long-term survival and quality of life for patients."
The time it takes to treat a heart attack patient when he or she arrives in a hospital's ER to the moment a balloon is deployed to open their blocked artery is called "door-to-balloon" time. Major clinical studies, endorsed by the American Heart Association, have shown that treating heart attack patients within 90 minutes of arrival significantly reduces damage to the heart muscle.
"Not only is this the best time ever for our hospital, it ranks among the best times regionally and nationally," said Jon Gardner, Presbyterian's director of the Heart & Vascular Service Line. "But the record isn't what's important. The importance of this is that it's another example of the commitment by physicians on the hospital's medical staff, the EMS personnel, and our emergency room and cardiovascular staff at Presbyterian to provide evidence-based health care in an efficient, quality way."
Recently, a separate door-to-balloon time at Presbyterian reached the 31-minute mark. During spring 2008, 14 consecutive emergency angioplasty procedures were performed within the 90-minute door-to-balloon timeframe.
The emergency room also plays a critical role in the process, since that's where heart-attack patients typically arrive. "That's the 'front door' of the hospital, so providing rapid cardiac assessments and efficiently communicating with the cath lab is critical to achieving our goal," Gardner said.
Coronary angioplasty is a procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary artery narrowed by plaque buildup on the inner walls of the arteries. Annually, more than 1 million people undergo angioplasty in the U.S., the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports.
SOURCE Texas Health Resources