Our Door-to-Balloon Times
TIME IS MUSCLE
During a heart attack, oxygen-rich blood is cut off to a part of the heart muscle, usually by a clot in a coronary artery. Unless that blockage is quickly removed, that part of the heart muscle dies.
“Ideally, we aim for between 60 and 90 minutes from the time a patient comes in the door to the time blood flow to the artery is re-established,” says Richard Stein, MD, spokesman for the American Heart Association.
BEATING THE CLOCK
Emergency angioplasty is one effective way to beat the clock. During this procedure a thin plastic tube - called a catheter - is inserted into a large blood vessel, usually in the groin. A small amount of dye is injected into the catheter, making the arteries visible on x-rays. Another catheter is then threaded to the blocked heart artery. This catheter has a balloon on its tip, which is repeatedly inflated and deflated to open the blockage. Once the blockage is cleared, a small wire mesh tube, called a stent, is often placed inside the artery to help keep it open.
RESTORING BLOOD FLOW—ASAP
The time between when a heart attack patient arrives at the hospital and the time when blood flow is restored is known as door-to-balloon time. Less than one-third of hospitals meet the goal of the American Heart Association. Boca Raton Regional Hospital is among the few hospitals in the U.S. that meet this established goal in 100% of its patients.
Boca Regional knows the importance of providing as rapid treatment as possible under the circumstances for heart attacks. In addition to the rapid care you receive at the hospital, new technology allows information to be shared between emergency responders in the ambulance and physicians at the hospital. This allows physicians to diagnose your condition, determine the best treatment option and prepare for your arrival at the hospital.