Malpractice News

June 28, 2013

Rapid response to strokes is crucial, study confirms

A stroke has long been known to be a serious and sometimes life-threatening medical condition that needs a quick response from medical personnel. But a new study’s findings emphasize that, quite literally, every second counts.

Clot-dissolving drug makes a difference

When a patient is diagnosed with a stroke, hospitals treat it with a clot-dissolving drug which can prevent the type of long-term damage that keeps people from recovering and returning to their normal lives. The quicker this drug is administered, the less time a patient is likely to spend in the hospital and the more likely it is they will be able to walk again.

Most treated by 180 minute mark

The study compared data of over 58,000 patients, looking specifically at the length of time between the onset of their symptoms and their treatment. The type of stroke studied was the ischemic stroke which involves blockage of blood flow to the brain. About 77 percent of patients were seen within 91 to 180 minutes of stroke symptom onset with just 9 percent treated more quickly and 14 percent treated within 181 to 270 minutes.

90 minute treatment has best prognosis

Researchers said, “For every 15-minute faster start of tPA [tissue plasminogen activators], patients were less likely to die or have an intracranial hemorrhage.” Thus, patients who were treated by 90 minutes of stroke onset were “26 percent less likely to die . . . 51 percent more likely to be able to walk and 33 percent more likely to be discharged to home, compared to those with an onset-to-treatment time of 181 to 270 minutes.”


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