There was an AP Report today on a major initiative to reduce the time from the moment a patient hits the door with a heart attack, more precisely known as an acute coronary thrombosis, to the inflation of a balloon in the blocked coronary artery which restores blood flow to the affected heart muscle.
The full text of the report can be found here.
I do know that we are already doing the most important things listed as recommendations:
- We call in the cath lab based on a reliable EMS report of a STEMI
- We call in the cath lab based on the ER doc's interpretation of the EKG
- The call-in is a single phone call
The results? Based on the current data, our facility, in 2006, has a median door-to-dilation time of 69 minutes, with the national median being 90 minutes, and the 90th percentile being about 75 minutes. Our total number of cases is about 140 for the year, which I perceive as being reasonably high, and certainly statistically significant.
I can't take too much credit on this one. We have great leadership, great administration, and great cardiologists. They have identified this as a major goal for the hospital, and put systems in place to generate this type of success. It is satisfying to see that it can be done, and that it makes a difference.
(Side note: I have been at this facility for six years and have never once given thrombolytics. Amazing.)