|Door-to-balloon time is the response time from when patient enters the Emergency Department to the time cardiac intervention begins.
The Conway Regional Emergency Department and heart team are averaging a door-to-balloon time of 61 minutes which is much lower than the standards set by the American College of Cardiology and the new technology in the Cath Lab is expected to take more time off the heart team’s response time.
“The most important treatment for patients with a heart attack is to open the blocked artery as quickly as possible. It is important for the heart attack patient to get to the nearest hospital with the capability to open the artery with a balloon catheter.” said Parker Norris, MD, Cardiologist, founder of the heart program at Conway Regional and medical director of the Cardiac Cath Lab.
“In a heart attack, time is muscle,” says Don Steely, MD, Cardiologist, Conway Heart Clinic. “If we can get to the patient in time, we can minimize damage. Every 30-minute delay in care adds about 30 percent risk in death and permanent heart damage.”
If experiencing heart attack symptoms, physicians advise call 9-1-1. MEMS amublances have the capability to transmit mobile EKG results directly to the emergency department speeding up potential treatment.
According to the American Heart Association, symptoms of a heart attack include
o Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
o Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
o Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Less common heart attack symptoms are...
o Atypical chest pain, stomach or abdominal pain.
o Nausea or dizziness.
o Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
o Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue.
o Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness.
Symptoms in women are different than those in men. Symptoms in women include:
• Breathlessness and or inability to catch your breath when waking up
• Clammy sweating
• Dizziness—unexpected lightheadedness, possible blackouts
• Anxiety—unusual nervousness, feelings of impending doom
• Edema—fluid retention and swelling of the ankles or lower legs
• Fluttering—rapid heartbeats, palpitations
• Nausea—gastric upset
• Feeling of heaviness, such as pressure, like chest pain between the breasts that may radiate to the left arm