Thursday, May 10, 2012

Note to hospitals: Time = brain

In my searching for stroke awareness stories this month, found this brief, related item about how stroke imaging is still not always timely:
According to an analysis of 40,777 patients from hospitals participating in the "Get With the Guidelines -- Stroke" program from 2003 to 2009, only 41% were imaged within 25 minutes, the American Heart Association recommended time, according to Adam G. Kelly, MD, from the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues.
Patients who received imaging within the recommended time frame were more likely to receive thrombolytic therapy (63% versus 38%), researchers reported online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.


oc1dean said...

But Jeff, No one is publically announcing what the efficacy rate is for tPA, I've heard from 30-32%, which would be a failure in my book. Time = Brain but there is nothing that will stop the neuronal cascade of death even if tPA works perfectly. Their Get with the guidelines program is just a process improvement, they need to step back and determine what the point is of hyperacute therapy. It should be saving brain cells by any means possible. That would require lots of hard work, researching new therapies.

Jeff Porter said...

Hi, Dean! I totally agree that work is needed - determining better ways to use tPA, more alternatives of other courses of action. That all being said, if the chances are 30-32 percent, which I've never seen a citation for, my bottom line is: If I'm given 1:3 odds of improved outcome or zero chance, I'd take the first choice.