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Hospital achieves top 10-percentile performance for heart attack treatment

New Britain [October 27 2010] - Within 49 minutes of her arrival to The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Emergency Department, Arline Granger, 67, received a life-saving angioplasty to treat a blocked coronary artery that triggered a heart attack.

“I had pains on and off the week prior to going to the doctor’s (office). And I thought it was indigestion,” recalls Granger, of Bristol. When she went to her primary care doctor on July 12 to have it checked, the “doctor took one look at the EKG and they called the paramedics and I was out the door.”

Paramedics notified The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) Emergency Department (ED) to expect a probable ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a type of heart attack. Before the ambulance arrived, the ED activated the hospital’s angioplasty team, led that day by interventional cardiologist Robert Borkowski, M.D. During Granger’s angioplasty, a balloon was inserted into a blocked coronary artery to improve blood flow to her heart. In addition, a stent was placed within that artery to help prevent artery renarrowing.

Granger’s 49-minute door-to-balloon (D2B) time – how long it took from when she entered the emergency department to angioplasty – exemplifies the increasing number of HCC patients having D2B times at 90 minutes or less, the guideline recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology guidelines.

From January through June, the latest figures available, HCC achieved a D2B response time at less than 90 minutes in 93 percent of STEMI cases. This places HCC in the top 10 percentile best practice performance for hospitals in the U.S. in providing care to patients with heart attacks, according to Lou Graff, M.D., FACEP, HCC’s medical director of Quality, and Emergency Department associate director. Since 2007, the hospital had regularly achieved above average performance.

“We’re actually doing better than many of the hospitals in Connecticut,” says Borkowski, co-director of HCC’s interventional cardiology.

A contributing factor in HCC’s success is implementation this past January of the Web-based LIFENET® System with the New Britain Emergency Medical Services, Inc. The system helps speed treatment of patients having a STEMI, by sending to the hospital’s ED, an incoming patient’s electrocardiogram (EKG) reading, which provides information about the heart’s rate, rhythm and electrical activity. Once an ED physician confirms a STEMI from the LIFENET System’s EKG transmission an angioplasty suite can be immediately set up.

Granger, who remained a patient at HCC a few days following angioplasty, is now in the hospital’s All Heart Cardiac Rehabilitation program at the New Britain General campus. Three times a week she participates in the program, which includes closely supervised exercise training, personal risk factor education and dietary and/or social services counseling. “The rehab is great,” says Granger.

According to the AHA, every year nearly 400,000 people have a STEMI heart attack and only about 25 percent of hospitals in the United States are prepared to treat STEMI patients using percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty). Learn more about heart attack treatment at HCC.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, x6507














HCC Corporate Communications
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