Middletown, NY – Orange Regional Medical Center is proud to announce that it has exceeded national guidelines requiring the treatment of heart attack patients with angioplasty in 90 minutes or less.
Every second counts for heart attack patients receiving angioplasty, a cardiac procedure where a catheter with a small balloon at the tip is inserted and inflated to open a blocked artery. The total time from when a patient arrives at a hospital until the artery is reopened is called “door to balloon” time.
“Patients are taken directly to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, after rapid evaluation in the Emergency Department, so blood flow to the heart can be restored quickly,” said Dr. Anuj Vohra, Medical Director of Orange Regional’s Emergency Department. “Reducing the door to balloon time lowers a patient’s risk of death and serious damage to the heart muscle.”
Each year, an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 patients have the most serious kind of heart attack, called a “STEMI” (myocardial infarction with St-segment elevation), caused by a prolonged decrease in blood supply due to a blocked artery. Unless the blockage is quickly removed, that part of the heart muscle dies.
“We advise people to call 911 or get to a hospital immediately if they experience chest pressure or pain in the center of their chest,” Dr. Vohra added. “Especially if it is accompanied by pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Other symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness.”
In 2014, the average door to balloon time at Orange Regional in 2014 was 65.7 minutes. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have developed national hospital guidelines calling for less than 90 minutes. In 2014, Orange Regional met this requirement with 100 percent compliance. The shortest door to balloon time in 2014 was 28 minutes.
“Time is Muscle. Every minute matters when a patient is having a heart attack,” said Orange Regional’s Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology, Dr. William Gotsis. “Rapid treatment is important to improve a patient’s chance of survival and minimize damage to the heart by quickly restoring blood flow to the heart.”
Orange Regional is recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association as a Gold Plus Stroke Facility. Cardiac Services provided in Orange Regional’s cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab) include diagnostic coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary interventions, including angioplasty (balloons) and stents, implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators. Emergently, patients may need a temporary pacemaker procedure and this is also provided in the cath lab.
The most common symptoms of a heart attack include uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or stabbing pain in the chest. In addition to, and sometimes instead of, chest discomfort, there may be discomfort in other areas of the body, such as one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Some, including women, may experience shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. Some people experience heartburn, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, or breaking out in a cold sweat. Dizziness or lightheadedness may or may not occur. Women frequently experience sudden onset of weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, overall feeling of illness, or unusual feeling or mild discomfort in the back, chest, arm, neck, or jaw. People who are diabetic or are elderly may experience atypical symptoms.
When you recognize that you may be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911. Heart attacks can suddenly cause irregular heartbeats that may cause your heart to stop. Local Emergency Medical Services are prepared to treat these arrhythmias using an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – a simple painless test – to find out if you’re having a heart attack. Often, suspected heart attack patients will be administered an ECG or EKG in the ambulance thereby beginning heart attack diagnosis and treatment before arrival to the hospital. Sophisticated wireless technology transmits results directly to the Emergency Room alerting the care team of the patient’s condition and allowing for absolutely readiness upon the patient’s arrival. It’s a very effective way to reduce the time it takes to get you the treatment you need.
For more information about cardiac services at Orange Regional, visit www.ormcheartcare.org.
Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.
About the Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center at Orange Regional Medical Center
The Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center at Orange Regional Medical Center, provides comprehensive cardiac services to our community. We were the first hospital in Orange County, New York to offer diagnostic, emergency and elective angioplasty to the community and surrounding areas. The Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center is affiliated with Westchester Medical Center and provides access to experienced cardiovascular specialists educated at some of the nation’s most renowned academic centers such as, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Mount Sinai Medical Center. Additionally, our program offers state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and a knowledgeable, dedicated cardiac staff trained in the latest cardiovascular procedures. Our wide range of services include elective and emergency angioplasty, advanced cardiac testing and rehabilitation, electrophysiology and implantable pacemakers and a variety of related cardiology and educational services. We also offer a mobile heart program focused on prevention and early detection of heart problems.