Las Vegas, NV — A heart attack happens every 40 seconds in the United States, and when one happens time is of the essence. It's part of the reason the American Heart Association created their 'door to balloon' guidelines. The AHA guidelines recommends a 90 minute door to balloon time, which means a patient's artery is opened within 90 minutes. The quicker a patient can be seen, the better chance they have to live.

"The American Heart Association recommends a 90 minute door to balloon time," said Cullen Brown during the ceremony. Brown is Chief Operating Officer at Southern Hills Hospital." With the help of our EMS teams like you, we are doing this in about 55 minutes. You are a huge part of our success."

This week ten first responders from AMR were honored by Southern Hills Hospital for surpassing their door to balloon times. In 2000, just 20 years ago, more than half of heart attack patients didn't survive, door to balloon saves lives.

"In 2020 we set a door to balloon goal of 60 minutes, but here at Southern Hills we are doing it in 55," said Monica Torresani, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Southern Hills Hospital. "This is because of the work you guys do, and just look at all the lives you've saved," she told the attendees.

Nicholas Watanabe-Otoole was one of the first responders from AMR honored. On April 6th he cared for a 60 year old male patient. Watanabe-Otoole's door to balloon time was 41 minutes, which was the best time the whole quarter.

Another attendee, Justin Alexander surpassed his door to balloon time twice in April, first on April 8th and then again on April 16th.

"From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you. We can't say how much we appreciate you," Kathy

Other first responders recognized were: Nicholas Watanabe-Otoole, John Moreno, Chad Lusche, Justin Alexander, Sarita Lundin, Jodie Cannon, Brandon Muhlstein, Rachel Neidfeldt, and Ashli Zeidman. All of the above mentioned were honored for their efforts in the month of April.

"We wish to pass along a sincere thank you for hosting such a fine event earlier today. By recognizing our team in such a prolific manner is a testament to your appreciation and respect for clinical excellence," said Phillip Robbins, Account executive for AMR and Medicwest.

The 90 minutes is broken down into 30 minute increments:

  • 30 minutes from the time symptoms start to the time the patient has engaged medical care, a diagnosis of STEMI has been made and the cardiac cath team is alerte
  • 30 minutes from cardiology team mobilization to patient arrival in the cardiac cath lab
  • 30 minutes from the state of the procedure to opening of the blocked artery

More information on Door to Balloon time can be found on the American Heart Association website.