Don Steely, MD, Interventional Cardiologist
What is door-to-balloon time and why is it important?
Door-to-balloon time measures the period of time from when a patient comes in contact with a health care provider until a blocked artery is cleared. Time is heart muscle. It is crucial to restore the flow of blood to the heart as quickly as possible. Not only does it affect that person’s life, but also their quality of life. Every 30-minute delay in care increases the risk of death and heart failure by almost 30 percent. The national gold standard for door-to-balloon time is less than 90 minutes. In 2019, the Conway Regional heart team averaged a door-to-balloon time of 55 minutes.
What is crucial for door-to-balloon time?
Achieving an excellent standard of care requires consistent coordination and high performance of a professionally trained care team. Our care team includes interventional cardiologists, cardiac catheterization lab staff, emergency department staff, and EMS agencies, particularly MEMS. MEMS personnel can activate our heart team with one phone call and send EKG test results to the Conway Regional ER prior to arriving with a possible heart attack patient. Our heart care team can read the EKG from a phone, in many instances, and form a treatment plan while in route to the hospital.
What recent technological advances are helping improve heart care?
In December of 2019, Conway Regional became the first hospital in Arkansas to have the new IntraSight with Sync Vision cardiovascular technology. This technology allows us to precisely identify the location of blockages within the coronary artery. The technology works by sending a tiny camera into the vessels of the coronary artery where it records and overlays two separate images of the vessels to determine the best place for a stent to clear blockage. This technology also provides enhanced visuals during image-guided procedures of the heart and surrounding blood vessels. It gives us the capability to pre-plan stent placement prior to the procedure. In 2018, we were one of the first hospitals to offer Micra pacemakers, which are less invasive, do not use cardiac leads, and last longer than traditional pacemakers.
We have all that your heart needs, all in one place. To learn about risk factors for heart attacks, visit www.conwayregional.org