Heart and Vascular
Kathy Bjarnesen
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Kathy Bjarnesen, of Lincoln Park, was at work when she started having chest pains. “I started sweating a lot and that’s when I knew this wasn’t normal,” she says.

After an ambulance ride to Sinai-Grace, Bjarnesen was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab where her heart blockage was opened within 39 minutes of arrival.

Bjarnesen, 50, is recovering well, has given up her two-pack-aday smoking habit and is working to make other lifestyle changes.

For years, physicians have known that “time is muscle” during a heart attack. The American College of Cardiology launched a national “Door to Balloon (D2B)” initiative in November 2006. The guidelines recommend hospitals open a heart attack patient’s blocked artery in 90 minutes or less after arrival in the ER.

“Sinai-Grace has been tracking D2B times for several years, with the aim of continuously improving procedures and response times and ensuring excellent patient outcomes,” notes Syed Mahmood, M.D., chief of interventional cardiology.      

This story first appeared in Sinai-Grace Hospital’s Healthy Living magazine. Click here to read more Healthy Living stories.