Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Research looks at racial disparity and time

Currently, this blog theme is time. I saw several versions of this story that illustrates the great importance of getting help quickly for those suffering a stroke.

This article from The Washington Post talks about ways of preventing strokes and how time is important.

Study in D.C. hospitals reveals disparity in stroke treatment for blacks:
Researchers found that blacks are significantly less likely to get the stroke treatment medication tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) because they don’t arrive at the hospital early enough, and even when they get there in time, they often have other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, that make them ineligible for the medication. The drug increases the risk of bleeding into the brain. To be effective, the medication also needs to be given within three hours of the onset of symptoms.

“Based on our data, it appears that much of the explanation is due to things that happen before the patient gets to the hospital,” said Amie Hsia, the lead author and medical director of Washington Hospital Center’s Stroke Center. The research was conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center.

That is good news for patients and their families, because they can increase the likelihood of getting treated with a few simple steps.

At the first hint of symptoms, call 911 and get to the hospital quickly. Control risk factors, such as high blood pressure, “so that it doesn’t become a factor in [preventing] safe treatment,” Hsia said.

No comments: