A diagnostic cardiac catheterization, also called coronary angiography or heart catheterization, is a procedure that provides detailed information about the function of the heart and its arteries. By combining information from blood tests and other diagnostic tests with a cardiac catheterization procedure, doctors can accurately diagnose a heart condition and develop the most effective treatment plan.
After a heart attack, patients often undergo a procedure using a balloon-tipped catheter that is inserted into a main artery, positioned into the narrowed coronary artery, and inflated to clear the blockage. This is called primary percutaneous coronary intervention, or more simply balloon angioplasty.
The time between a patient's arrival at the hospital and first balloon inflation is known as the "door-to-balloon time." Any delay in door-to-balloon time for heart attack patients undergoing balloon angioplasty is associated with higher mortality. The current national target is 90 minutes. Parkview Hospital’s average time is 52 minutes.
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