Nationally, hospitals are measured by what is known as “door-to-balloon time.” This is the total amount of time it takes a hospital to restore blood flow once a heart attack victim arrives in the emergency room. Houston Northwest Medical Center is proud to report that in 2010, the average door-to-balloon time was 63.8 minutes.
Realizing all heart attacks do not happen in the hospital, Houston Northwest Medical Center and Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS) joined forces and formed the STEMI Program. STEMI is the acronym for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a severe heart attack caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply that affects a large area of the heart. The STEMI Program uses innovative protocols which have helped improve response mechanisms designed to decrease door-to-balloon time. If a patient experiencing a STEMI calls 911 and is brought to Houston Northwest Medical Center by Cypress Creek EMS, the goal is for the patient to go directly to the heart catheterization suite as soon as they arrive at the hospital. Because of this collaborative effort, current statistics show some patients have restoration of blood flow in less than 90 minutes from the time they make the call to 911!