Joplin, MO- "Luckily I had a nurse that was in our running class with me give me CPR at the time, until the ambulance got there." And that quick treatment helped save Bobby Ballard's life. He made it to Freeman where they first gave him a stint then later a triple bypass.
But Freeman Cardiologist John Nicholas points out time is off the essence. "When people are having a heart attack, the sooner you get to the hospital, the sooner we can open up an artery the sooner, the less damage that occurs. So when we say time is muscle, we want to get, stop your heart attack as quickly as we can."
And Freeman is focused on jump starting the treatment process in what's known as the "door to balloon time". Said Nicholas, "And door means when you hit the door of the emergency room or where ever we start from, the time it takes to get you in the cath lab. And we open up that artery so the heart attack is stopped. So we want to make that door to balloon time as quickly as we can so you have as little heart muscle lost as possible."
Sometimes Freeman can actually start the prep work before a patient even arrives - if paramedics can diagnose a heart attack. Added Nicholas, "So if in the field, or someone is having a heart attack at their home, come in and recognize it's a heart attack. Then right then we'll start the process of getting ready to get them right to the cath lab where we can open up their blocked artery."