ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Door to Balloon Time Improvement Project

Saad Al Bugami, Jamilah Alrahimi, Abdullah Almalki, Farqad Alamger, Ahmed Krimly, Wail Al Kashkari


Background: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate prospectively the causes of delay for patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) requiring primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) upon arrival at the emergency department (ED) and implement recommendations to reduce delays and analyze the impact of recommendations to reduce the door-to-balloon (D2B) time in a newly established cardiac center (King Faisal Cardiac Center (KFCC)). Primary PCI has developed as an effective treatment strategy for acute STEMI, the survival rate and patient outcome are however dependent on the time to treatment. The international benchmark for all programs dealing with acute coronary syndrome patients suffering from STEMI has been established as 90 minutes or less from the time the patient arrives at the hospital to the opening of the affected vessel in the cardiac catheterization laboratory “door-to-balloon time” or D2B. In KFCC during the year 2014, the STEMI, D2B time of ≤ 90 minutes was achieved in 25%.

Methods: We conducted a single center prospective data collection for consecutive patients presenting with STEMI within 24 hours of the onset of chest pain between January 2015 and December 2015. The boundaries of the process began when the patient entered the emergency department and ended when the balloon was inflated during the PCI. Certain well-defined metrics were chosen to drive the change and identify the defect.

Results: A total of 37 patients presented with STEMI. The number of patients who achieved the target D2B time ≤ 90 minutes was 20 (54%). Nine patients (24.4%) had D2B time between 91 and 120 minutes and eight patients (21.6%) beyond 120 minutes. The delays were due to late identifications of patients with chest pain as well as in obtaining ECG, activation and transport to the catheterization laboratory.

Conclusion: There was a measurable improvement up to 54%. Several factors have contributed to the delays in achieving the goal standard of above 90%; these include late identifications of patients with STEMI, delays in obtaining the ECG, activation of the catheterization laboratory and delay of patients’ transportation.

Cardiol Res. 2016;7(4):152-156



Door to balloon; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; Primary percutaneous intervention

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Cardiology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2829 (print), 1923-2837 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.     
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