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STAT angioplasty: Robust process poised to reduce door-to-balloon to less than 90 minutes

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“For ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients, the data is definitive: keeping door-to-balloon time under 90 minutes minimizes myocardial damage,” says Charles Dennis, MD, medical director of the cardiac catheterization labs at Virtua Memorial. An acute percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) program at Virtua Memorial is ready to launch with a robust process of care that should lower the door-to-balloon time to less than 90 minutes positioning them well under the current state average of 113 minutes.

Frank Fish, MD, chief, cardiology at Virtua Memorial, explains: “An important part of process streamlining is a one-call system that mobilizes the entire catheterization team instantly.” For example, a chest pain patient picked up by Virtua’s Mobile Intensive Care Unit, will have an electrocardiogram acquired in the field and transmitted to the emergency department. If it shows evidence of STEMI when transmitted to Virtua Memorial’s emergency department, the acute percutaneous coronary intervention
team is called in before the patient arrives to minimize door-to-balloon time and maximize a successful intervention.

These combined events – the launch of the acute PCI program at Virtua Memorial – coupled with the acquisition and transmission of the electrocardiogram from the field to the ED – are the linchpins to activate the cath lab system and reduce door-to-balloon time to the lowest possible levels. Virtua Memorial’s 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab has two procedure rooms and the latest digital cardiac catheterization technology.

The lab offers a highly experienced staff of interventional cardiologists, nurses and technologists.

State-of-the-art procedures include thrombectomy, distal protection, and angioplasty with stent deployment to provide optimal treatment for patients who require emergency percutaneous coronary intervention.