Thursday, March 27, 2014

Delays to stroke treatment can be costly

I was fortunate enough to get help quickly on the day my stroke happened. Now, recently published research casts this in a different way - stroke patients lose a month for each 15-minute delay:
Diane Barbeler had a stroke on Monday last week. The next day, she walked out of the hospital with only minor sensory changes in her right hand and foot.
Barbeler owes her quick recovery to the tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, that she received within 3 hours of losing strength and control in her lower limb, says Atte Meretoja, a neurologist who helped diagnose her stroke at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. Patients like Barbeler, 66, gain a month of disability-free life for every 15 minutes saved in getting the clot-busting drug, according to research by Meretoja and colleagues published today in the journal Stroke. ...
“The main delay in stroke is due to people not calling for help,” said Meretoja, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne. “We have now demonstrated that this is very harmful, and people lose on average a month of life for every 15 minutes they wait at home hoping that the symptoms will go away.”
That's a sobering number. Wait 15 more minutes, and you lose a month. Know the signs of a stroke and get help - for yourself or someone you care about - quickly.

From the American Stroke Association

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