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Safe and Engaged Communities

Achieve and maintain a door-to-balloon time of 90 minutes for patients having a S-T Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) heart attack


FY19 Actual

FY18 Actual

Objective Description

STEMI is a common name for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, one of several types of heart attacks. A STEMI heart attack is caused by a complete blockage in a coronary artery. When this occurs, the goal of medical treatment is to treat symptoms and quickly re-open the artery in a specialized treatment lab. The American Heart Association (AHA) has established a nationally recognized time standard for STEMI patient door-to balloon times of 90 minutes or less. This measure represents the average time interval from when a patient arrives at the Emergency Room to when the balloon is inflated in their coronary artery in the cardiac procedures laboratory at the hospital. Critical prehospital actions that have been shown to shorten this time interval include rapid acquisition and interpretation of an electrocardiogram, early notification to the receiving hospital, efficient patient care provision and scene management, and rapid transport.

Trend Analysis

From FY 2014 to FY 2019, the six-year Average Door-to-Balloon Time for Patients Having a STEMI Heart Attack was 70 minutes and 16 seconds (70:16). While the average door-to-balloon interval has fluctuated slightly over the five-year time frame, it has remained consistently lower than the national standard. In that five-year period, the Department responded to over 720 STEMI heart attack calls, 318 of which received angioplasty (balloon) at a hospital (44.16%).


  • Ensure paramedics are well equipped and trained to accurately interpret advanced electrocardiograms and treat heart attacks.
  • Collaborate with area hospitals to deliver closely coordinated prehospital and definitive care for STEMI heart attack patients, including special operational protocols, EMS provider training, early notification systems, and an integrated quality assurance processes.
  • Ensure effective identification of STEMI heart attack patients during the 911 call-taking process, and a subsequent appropriate resource response.

Source: Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue

Detailed Analysis

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