Door to balloon times for STEMI

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Door to balloon times

If a patient develops an ST Elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and is to be treated by primary PCI, then speed is of the essence. A STEMI occurs when a blood vessel supplying the heart muscle blocks completely. In the absence of oxygen and nutrients this part of the heart muscle starts to die. The longer the vessel is blocked, the more heart muscle will die, and so this blockage must be opened as quickly as possible.

The ‘Door to Balloon’ time is a measure of how long it takes a PCI centre to treat such patients. It measures the delay between the arrival of a patient at the hospital, and the re-opening of the blocked artery using PCI. An audit standard is for this to be less than 90 minutes, aiming for less than 60 minutes in higher risk cases. The data are therefore presented as the percentage of patients who were treated within 90 minutes of arrival.


In addition to these public reports, you can explore ‘Door to Balloon’ in recent years times using interactive graphics at this link.

List of abbreviations
ACS Acute Coronary Syndrome
BCIS British Cardiovascular Intervention Society
CABG Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
CHD Coronary Heart Disease
ECG Electrocardiogram
MACCE Major Adverse Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Event
NSTEMI Non ST elevation Myocardial Infarction
PCI Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
STEMI ST elevation Myocardial Infarction
UA Unstable Angina

See the Public Reports