Baylor Medical Center at Irving Treating Heart Attacks Rapidly

What can you do in 65 minutes? At Baylor Medical Center at Irving clinicians can save a life by rapidly moving a heart attack patient from the emergency room to the cath lab to open a patient's blocked vessels through percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Time means muscle when dealing with a heart attack. The 65-minute door-to-balloon time was the average time during 2007 for the Baylor Irving team, beating the 90-minute national standard of door-to-balloon time by 25 minutes. 

The "door-to-balloon" time process involves the emergency department team and the heart and vascular team. Every minute counts from the moment the heart attack patient is admitted in the Baylor Irving emergency department to the time a balloon angioplasty is deployed in their heart. 

"Our rapid response time is so significant because for every minute a patient is not treated, more irreparable damage is done to the heart," said Jacob Chemmalakuzhy, M.D., cardiologist on the medical staff at Baylor Irving. "Our quick process can provide our patients with a higher quality life because the process minimizes damage." 

In order to accomplish this response time at Baylor Irving, three critical teams work in unison. These teams include the emergency medical service (EMS) team, the emergency department team led by Charles Su, M.D., medical director for emergency care on the staff at Baylor Irving, and the heart and vascular team, made up of a cardiologist and three heart and vascular nurses who work together to ensure rapid cardiac intervention for the patient. 

Local EMS teams are working with the emergency department to assist in symptom assessment so that the cardiac team can be alerted prior to the patient getting to the hospital, further reducing the door-to-balloon time. 

"We quickly assess and stabilize the patient when they arrive in the emergency department," stated Dr. Su. "If after the assessment, it is found that the patient is suffering a heart attack, cardiologists are paged, and the patient is moved to the cardiac catheterization lab for diagnostic heart catheterization." Once the severity of the heart damage is determined through cardiac catheterization, immediate cardiac intervention with balloon angioplasty or stenting occurs that stops the heart attack from causing further damage. 

The cardiac team at Baylor Irving offers an important piece of advice to Irving residents: Please don't drive yourself to the hospital if you suspect you're having a heart attack. 

"The most important thing to do if a patient suspects a heart attack is to call 911, then chew an aspirin," stated Dr. Chemmalakuzhy. 

In 2006, Baylor Medical Center at Irving earned the designation of accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers. 

Baylor Medical Center at Irving is the premier medical facility providing care to Irving, Las Colinas, and the surrounding communities. The not-for-profit, full-service, fully-accredited hospital offers advanced health care services in cardiovascular care, diagnostic imaging, digestive disorders, physical medicine and rehabilitation, oncology treatment, orthopaedic surgery, and emergency medicine. The 283-bed hospital is centrally located in the heart of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex on State Highway 183. 

For fiscal year 2007, Baylor Health Care System will report $390 million in community benefit, which includes providing care for charity patients and patients enrolled in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the un-reimbursed costs of medical education, research and community programs.

Contact: Susan Hall, 214- 820-1817

# # #

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,100 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: