Hartford Hospital Repeats as National Heart-Attack Care Award Winner

Heart Attack
Print icon

When an emergency services dispatcher receives a call about a potential heart attack victim, physicians and nurses at Hartford Hospital must be prepared to provide the best care possible when the patient is brought through the emergency room door.

Specialized treatment is critical when it comes to an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, also known as a STEMI heart attack, the most severe type of heart attack caused by blockage of blood flow to the heart. A STEMI means the artery is 100 percent blocked. These heart attacks require the timeliest treatment to ensure the best possible outcome.

Mission Lifeline AwardFor the second year in a row, the American Heart Association has recognized Hartford Hospital’s efforts to improve care for STEMI heart attack patients, recently honoring its work in 2018 with the Mission: Lifeline Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award.  Last year, Hartford Hospital’s response times placed it among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation — exceeding the American Heart Association standard.

“We’re proud of this recognition because it reflects our perpetual drive toward improvement, to do everything we can to ensure the best possible outcome for people whose lives have been placed in our hands,” said Dr. Raymond McKay, Co-Director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute’s Structural Heart Disease Program.

According to the American Heart Association, every year more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI. Last year, Hartford Hospital cared for more than 200 STEMI patients.

Because delays in treating a heart attack increase cardiac muscle damage, time is muscle.

Related: Heart & Vascular Institute Earns Top Cardiac Surgery Ratings in North America

The Mission: Lifeline program provides response and treatment guidelines that unify efforts of first responders and staff in hospital emergency departments and cardiac catheterization labs. Central to that is the association’s recommended 90-minutes-or-less “door to balloon” time (D2B) for STEMI heart attacks — a way to measure how much time has passed between when the patient arrives in the emergency department and when a balloon is inserted into the artery to treat the blockage.

In 2017, Hartford Hospital’s D2B time was 55 minutes. One year later in 2018, that time was 49 minutes, reducing D2B by 6 additional minutes. Those times exceed not only the 90-minutes-or-less D2B standard, but also a 90-minutes or less “first medical contact to balloon” (FMCTB) standard that’s gaining traction nationwide.

“We can’t achieve these types of improvements without thorough communication among all the members of our team, and at Hartford Hospital, our teams relentlessly pursue strategies to eliminate barriers to getting patients into cardiac care as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Francis Kiernan, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Co-Director of the Structural Heart Program.

Teams at Hartford Hospital consistently review each STEMI case to identify opportunities to improve the timeliness of care. For example, how quickly was the patient’s electrocardiogram transmitted to the hospital before the patient’s arrival? This information is shared among the three teams responsible for immediate STEMI care — the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, the Emergency Department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers.

The collaboration between those three teams exemplifies Hartford HealthCare’s overall approach to cardiovascular disease, prevention and research, making it a national leader in the field.

Click here to learn more about heart attacks and their treatment at the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute.


What's New

Three people jogging on road, winter background.

Don’t Let Winter Freeze Your Exercise Routine: Here’s How

As the cold weather and snow begins to arrive in New England it’s time to start thinking of ways to keep exercising throughout the winter months.  As Dayle Stark, DPT (doctorate of physical therapy) from Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network explains, there are many ways to remain active no matter what...

Gifts for the Kitchen

A Dietitian’s Good-for-You Holiday Gift Guide

As the days count down, are you still looking for meaningful gifts for those few left on your holiday shopping list? I try to consider gifts that can make 2020 more healthy and productive.  Maybe a couple of these ideas will pique your interest enough to check out further. For...

Hartford HealthCare Names First Connecticut Courage Award Winners

At the age of 15, University of New Haven football team senior running back Chris Liggio lost both his parents in a murder-suicide. Taylor Herd, a senior guard on the Quinnipiac University women’s basketball team, suffered two ACL tears in the same knee in high school, and her father has...

Healthy Diet

Cancer Survivors: Find The Power of a Healthy Diet

By Diane Avino Dietitian Gray Cancer Center Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital Eating well is important during all stages of life, but it’s particularly important for cancer survivorship. Adequate nutrition is a crucial part of staying well through cancer treatments as well as promoting your long-term health. Eating...


As Cancer Treatment Evolves, a Focus on Reducing Side Effects

By Dr. Omar Eton Melanoma DMT Lead Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute Over the past two decades, there has been great progress in understanding the relationship between cancer and the defenses a patient can muster against it. This led to a Nobel Prize for James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo in...

Stomach Cancer

Stomach Cancer: Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

By Dr. Bret Schipper Chief of Surgical Oncology The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center Stomach, or gastric, cancer in the United States is somewhat rare, but it’s important to know the signs and symptoms. According to the American Cancer Society, about 27,500 cases of stomach cancer will...

How the mind reacts to tragedy.

How the Mind Responds to Endless Bad National News

Two shootings in two days at military bases in Hawaii and Florida barely made the evening news, and these tragedies didn’t result in much water cooler talk, either. Is this the new normal? Not necessarily, according to Dr. Anthony Ng, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network’s East...