Monday, June 14, 2010

Good news - but could be much better

Every find news that sounds good but you know it must get better? Recent stories reported just that kind of news.

On one hand, almost 30 percent of stroke patients showed up an an emergency room within the first hour. That's good. But that means more than 70 percent don't show up within the first hour. That's the downside. The downside means fewer treatment options, and, the study shows, fewer people who show up after the first hour receive a clot-busting drug.

There are two other interesting findings: If the stroke is more obviously serious or the patient shows up in an ambulance, then you get a much higher percentage of those arriving at an ER with in the first. Now, the first item is out of your control. However, the second item - how an ambulance can get someone to help quicker - is advice that anyone can follow.

Here's a snippet of one article:

A substantial portion of ischemic stroke patients present to emergency departments within an hour of onset, and they are more likely to receive thrombolytic therapy than those who arrive later, but both factors present room for improvement, according to research published online June 3 in Stroke. ...

The researchers found that onset-to-door time was 60 minutes or less in 28.3 percent of patients, 61 to 180 minutes in 31.7 percent, and more than 180 minutes in 40.1 percent. Characteristics most strongly associated with early arrival included severe neurologic deficit and arrival by ambulance versus private vehicle. Patients arriving in the first 60 minutes more frequently received intravenous thrombolytic therapy than those arriving in 61 to 180 minutes (27.1 versus 12.9 percent), but their door-to-needle time was longer (90.6 versus 76.7 minutes).

No comments: