A study by the American Heart Association found that the percentage of patients who received emergency angioplasty to unblock coronary arteries in the recommended amount of time jumped to more than 90% in 2010 compared with 44% five years prior. The recommended time frame of beginning the procedure is 90 minutes from the time a heart attack patient arrives at the hospital, with the study finding that the median time had dropped from 96 to 64 minutes. "One of the major changes in practice was for cardiologists to allow EMTs or ED physicians to activate the cath lab before the cardiologist determined or confirmed the patient had an MI," said SCAI President Dr. Christopher White. "That was a huge shift and very necessary for reducing door-to-balloon time."

Read SCAI's statement on the study here.

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