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February 26, 2017

Southwest General Hospital receives award for emergency cardiac care

SWG Award Best Cardiac Care in San Antonio

Southwest General Hospital receives region’s shortest door-to-balloon time award

(SAN ANTONIO) February 26, 2017 – Each year, an estimated 250,000 Americans suffer from the most severe type of heart attack. Getting treatment speedily is the key to a better outcome. When a heart attack happens, each passing minute could mean the difference between life and death. The goal is to get our patients the treatment in the shortest amount of time. It’s what hospitals call “door-to-balloon time.”

Southwest General Hospital, along with Northeast Methodist Hospital, was awarded the “shortest door-to-balloon time” by The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), the organization designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to develop, implement and maintain the regional trauma and emergency healthcare system for 22 South Central Texas.

Door-to-balloon time is a time measurement in emergency cardiac care (ECC) referring to the span of time between when you reach the front door of the hospital to the time the device is in the heart and actually opening up the blood flow. National guidelines suggest door-to-balloon times should be 90 minutes or less for the most severe type of heart attack.

“Time is muscle,” said Dudley Wait, Chair of STRAC’s Regional Cardiac Systems Committee.  “When someone is having a heart attack, it is critical for all pieces of the healthcare system to operate in concert and efficiently so that the patient receives the most efficient and safest treatment possible.”

According to Wait, “This award recognizes the tremendous work by SW General’s administration, nurses and physicians, along with the Xray and scrub techs, and the entire Cath team.”

For 2016, Southwest General Hospital was recognized for a patient where the system performed flawlessly leading to a patient who received definitive care, a cardiac catheterization, in 20 minutes from the time EMS arrived at the hospital’s doors.
Wait said, “To put this in perspective, the national goal for such treatment is 90 minutes and our regional goal is 60 minutes.

To perform such a critical, lifesaving procedure in such a short time shows a tremendous commitment by Southwest General Hospital in developing internal systems and processes to perform as efficiently as possible when such critical patients arrive at their door.”

“Cardiology is among the most critical needs in our community and one of Southwest General’s key service lines,” said Southwest General’s CEO, Craig Desmond. “This award signals that if you have a heart attack or any other kind of cardiac event on San Antonio’s Southside, Southwest General Hospital has the tools and the very best team in place to care for you.”

The award was handed out at STRAC’s Regional Cardiac Systems Quarterly Cardiac Dinner, which recognizes the best of the best in cardiac care in San Antonio.


The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) is designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to develop, implement and maintain the regional trauma and emergency healthcare system for the 22 counties in Trauma Service Area – P (TSA-P). TSA-P has a mixture of urban, suburban, rural and frontier areas, from the 7th largest city in the US to the Mexican border, encompassing over 26,000 square miles in southwest Texas. STRAC is one of twenty-two regional advisory councils in Texas that comprise the Texas Trauma / Emergency Healthcare system. STRAC is a 501c3 non-profit, tax-exempt member organization consisting of 74 general and specialty hospitals, including 2 Level I Trauma Centers, 16 PCI centers, 12 Stroke centers, air medical providers, and over 70 EMS agencies. A leader in the Texas Trauma System, STRAC has been recognized twice as the Texas Regional Advisory Council of the Year (2000 and 2008). STRAC oversees dozens of essential programs and projects for the trauma and emergency healthcare system in and around San Antonio, Texas, partnering with members, local government, and non-governmental organizations.