Friday, February 25, 2011

Time is key for stroke recovery success

Some news in my town - quick response times for a local hospital. Columbia, Mo.'s University Hospital was named to the American Heart Association's stroke honor roll:

University Hospital has been named to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's 2011 Target: Stroke Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals with "clot-busting medication" treatment times of fewer than 60 minutes for ischemic stroke patients, according to an MU Health Care news release.

University Hospital was one of 74 hospitals in the nation that were named to the list, and one of four in Missouri, according to the release. The other three hospitals in the state named to the Target: Stroke Honor Roll are Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, and CoxHealth in Springfield, according to the American Heart Association website.

Niranjan Singh, a neurologist and co-director of University Hospital's stroke program, said this recognition is very important for stroke victims coming to the hospital for treatment.

"Time is a key feature of this stroke treatment," Singh said. "Patients coming to the University Hospital will have the same time metrics as the other hospitals in Missouri and the U.S. on this list."
 The clot-busting medication mentioned is tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. There's a total time window of 4.5 hours in most cases, and a single hour can increase changes of better recovery. Not every stroke patient is a candidate for tPA, so the challenge is for the patients to arrive quickly, assessed accurately and without delay, then, as appropriate, treated.

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