New method efficacious in reducing D2B to 55 minutes

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Six months after the launch of a new treatment approach designed to significantly lower mortality rates among patients experiencing heart attacks, Detroit Medical Center (DMC)  has successfully reduced the critically important door-to-angioplasty balloon (D2B) treatment time for heart attack patients by half, according to a presentation Monday at the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium.

Theodore L. Schreiber, MD, specialist-in-chief at DMC Cardiovascular Medicine, presented the recently completed study, in which the Detroit hospital team measured treatment times for 99 MI patients.

The data showed that, on average, the DMC approach—in which a cardiologist and emergency heart attack treatment team are stationed at the medical facility 24 hours—was able to cut the treatment time for ER patients with suspected heart attacks approximately in half.  

“The first six months of experience with Cardio Team One [March 17-Sept. 16, 2008] show that 99 possible heart attack patients were treated by the unit soon after arriving in the ER,” Schreiber said, “and that among the 23 who required immediate catheterization for apparent heart attacks, the door-to-balloon treatment average time was 55 minutes.  

“This represents a marked improvement over the national target of 90 minutes, which only 20 percent of hospitals are achieving at present. The results are extremely encouraging—since they show that our approach to heart attack intervention does indeed significantly reduce treatment times,” he added.
 
The Cardio Team One (CTO) method suggests the eliminating physician and catheterization team lab delays by having heart attack care providers onsite 24/7, 365.
    
Schreiber was the inventor and recent founder of the DMC’s CTO system for cutting the typical heart-attack response time (from ER to angioplasty balloon) by about 50 percent.           

Based at the DMC’s Harper University Hospital, CTO includes more than two dozen specially trained cardiologists, nurses and technologists who reside at the hospital throughout alternating 48-hour shifts. The approach allows the cardiac team to respond quickly to heart attack symptoms in patients arriving at the Emergency Room.  

In many cases, Schreiber said they are now able to reduce the ER door to [angioplasty] balloon time to 30 minutes or less.

“To my knowledge, this approach to treating heart attacks has never been used before, and we are very excited about the potential benefits for patients,” Schreiber concluded.