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Heart Attack


Heart Attack Core Measures - Door-to-Balloon Time

Door-to-balloon (also known as PCI) time is a measurement of emergency cardiac care for those suffering a heart attack in which a coronary artery is completely blocked. It begins once a patient arrives in the Emergency Department and ends the minute the obstructed artery is reopened in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. In November 2006, the American College of Cardiology established a standard of 90 minutes for door-to-balloon time.

The following results were reported for patient discharges from April 2012 through March 2013:

Heart attack patients given PCI within 90 minutes of arrival.

 YRMC    Arizona Hospitals   National Average
   86%                93%                            95%

Why this is important
The heart is a muscle that gets oxygen through blood vessels. Sometimes blood clots can block these blood vessels, and the heart cannot get enough oxygen. This can cause a heart attack. Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) are procedures that are among the most effective ways to open blocked blood vessels and help prevent further heart muscle damage. A PCI is performed by a doctor to open the blockage and increase blood flow in blocked blood vessels. Improving blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible lessens the damage to your heart muscle. It also can increase your chances of surviving a heart attack. There are three procedures commonly described by the term PCI. These procedures all involve a catheter (a flexible tube) that is inserted, often through your leg, and guided through the blood vessels to the blockage. The three procedures are:

  • Angioplasty - a balloon is inflated to open the blood vessel.
  • Stenting - a small wire tub called a stent is placed in the blood to hold it open.
  • Astherectomy - a blade or laser cuts through and removes blockage

During the reporting period covered above by Hospital Compare, Yuma Regional Medical Center achieved an average door-to-balloon time of 88 minutes.


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