(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Most heart attacks are caused by a clot obstructing the flow of blood through an artery. In a medical emergency, the time it takes to get a patient to treatment can be a matter of life or death. When a heart attack patient arrives at a hospital, the faster blood-flow is re-established, the greater the chance of their survival. "Door-To-Balloon time" or D2B is what healthcare professionals call the time between a patient's arrival at a hospital, to the time a balloon catheter or stent is inflated in the blocked artery.
A new study by Yale School of Medicine finds that almost all heart attack patients who need this emergency artery-opening procedure, also known as angioplasty, are now receiving it within 90 minutes of walking through the hospital door. In 2010, 91 percent of these patients were treated in a D2B time of less than 90 minutes; many (70 percent), in under 75-minutes.
That's a dramatic increase from just five years ago when only half as many patients (44 percent) received treatment in 90-minutes, the recommended time.
This improvement marks a great success for the healthcare community and their nationally coordinated campaign to get these times down, known as the "D2B Alliance."
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