Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Appropriate blood thinner use is on the rise

From the Good News Department, via Reuters Health,  more stroke patients get clot-busting drugs:
As many as 95 percent of stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disturbance, got blood thinners in 2010, researchers found. That's up from 88 percent in 2003.

The findings are based on nearly 1,400 U.S. hospitals in the "Get With The Guidelines -- Stroke" program, created by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to make sure doctors are following up-to-date practices.

"Hospitals participating in this program improved their ability to deliver appropriate stroke care," said lead researcher Dr. William Lewis, a heart specialist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.

About 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, according to the American Heart Association.

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