WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommend patients suffering heart attacks get the coronary artery reopened within 90 minutes of the first medical contact. However, White Plains Hospital has worked to significantly reduce that amount of time to half.
“While 90 minutes is the goal for most hospitals, we know that the faster we’re able to get patients to treatment, the better off they are,” said Mark Greenberg, M.D., director of the Joan and Alan Herfort, M.D., Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. “At White Plains Hospital, we’ve worked diligently to cut the 90-minute window in half. Today, our median time is only 49 minutes.” Reducing this time takes involvement from all staff in contact with patients. It begins with emergency medical services staff in the ambulance using the Lifenet System and continuing at White Plains Hospital with staff in both the Flanzer Center for Emergencies and Critical Care and the Joan and Alan Herfort, M.D., Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
A patient experiencing heart attack symptoms receives a series of screenings—including an electrocardiogram, blood pressure tests and blood tests—and those tests can start in the ambulance. If a heart attack is confirmed, the cardiac cath lab team is activated. "Within 49 minutes of arrival, the patient is on the table and undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty—more commonly known just as angioplasty. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a balloon catheter into the blocked coronary artery. When the catheter reaches the blockage, the balloon is inflated to flatten the blockage and restore blood flow within the artery. “When you have a heart attack, it’s critical to get the artery open as quickly as possible,” Greenberg said.
To learn more about care at the Joan and Alan Herfort, M.D., Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at White Plains Hospital, visit www.wphospital.org.