Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Tracking stroke care can improvement care

What's best for stroke victims?

Important question. Most of us know someone who have suffered a stroke. Everyone knows who someone who is especially at risk. Not long ago, the American Heart Association released new guidelines for stroke care:

The updated standards include:

• Specifically tracking the percentage of ischemic stroke patients identified as eligible for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and appropriately treated within a 60-minute door-to-needle time. According to the guidelines, tPA is the only clot-busting drug approved for treating ischemic strokes and is effective only when given within a few hours after the onset of a stroke.

• Tracking the time from hospitalization to treatment to repair blood vessels for patients with a ruptured aneurysm.

• Performing 90-day follow-up of ischemic stroke patients to assess their outcomes after acute interventions, including treatment with tPA.

Standards like this will help find ways to make better decisions that will improve treatment for people who are often helpless when they arrive at a hospital.

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