What Door to Balloon Time can mean to your life

National guidelines developed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) state that hospitals treating STEMI patients with emergency PCI should reliably achieve a "door-to-balloon time" of 90 minutes or less.

This is an important element in being designated an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. STEMI is an acronym meaning "ST segment elevation myocardial infarction," which is a type of heart attack. In a STEMI, the coronary artery is completely blocked off by the blood clot, and as a result virtually all the heart muscle being supplied by the affected artery starts to die. As a result, the patient must have the blocked coronary artery opened to restore blood flow to the heart. The time it takes for a patient that arrives at a hospital's emergency department to have the blocked vessel opened, which restores blood flow to the heart, is known as "door-to-balloon time."

Below is a chart that highlights the "door-to-balloon time" of Munroe Regional's Accredited Chest Pain Center compared to local and national averages.

Door to Balloon Time Average:

  • Munroe Regional Medical Center
    44 minutes (fastest time is 17 minutes)
  • National Hospital Average*
    63.1 minutes
  • 95.5% of patients at Munroe with a heart attack are treated within the recommended 90 minutes of arrival. The national average is 91.2% of patients.**
  • Ocala Regional Medical Center time***
    58 minutes

* 2009 AHA Get with the Guidelines Report.
** National Cardiovascular Data Registry, published October 13, 2010.
*** As reported on their Web site on December 23, 2011

Less time means less damage to the heart and better outcomes for our patients. It's just another way that Munroe Heart is helping to set the national standard of care right here in Marion County.With the rise of Chest Pain Centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. The Society's accreditation process insures centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center's protocol driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether they are having a coronary event. Such observation helps ensure that a patient is neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

The Chest Pain Center at Munroe Regional Medical Center has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Key areas in which a Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system.
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly.
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms.
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures.
  • Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training.
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment.
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care.
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack.

Patient TestimonialsPatient Testimonials

See videos of Munroe Heart Patients talking about their personal experiences with Munroe's accredited Chest Pain Center.

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