Study examines out-of hospital stroke policy at Chicago hospitals

July 1, 2013

Implementing an out-of hospital stroke policy in some Chicago hospitals was associated with significant improvements in emergency medical services use and increased intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) use at primary stroke centers, according to a study published by JAMA Neurology.

The study evaluated the relationship between a citywide policy recommending pre-hospital triage of patients with suspected stroke to transport them to the nearest primary stroke center and use of intravenous tPA use. The therapy is used to restore blood flow through blocked arteries in (IS).

The study by Shyam Prabhakaran, M.D., M.S., of Northwestern University, Chicago, and colleagues included all admitted patients with stroke and transient ischemic attack (also known as a "mini-stroke" or "warning stroke,") at 10 primary stroke center hospitals in Chicago. The study was conducted from September 2010 to August 2011, which was six months before and six months after the intervention began March 1, 2011.

There were 1,075 admissions for stroke and in the pre-triage periods and 1,172 admissions in the post-triage period. Compared with the pre-triage period, use of increased from 30.2 percent to 38.1 percent and emergency medical services pre-notification increased from 65.5 percent to 76.5 percent after implementation. Rates of intravenous tPA use were 3.8 percent and 10.1 percent and onset-to-treatment times decreased from 171.7 to 145.7 minutes in the pre-triage and post-triage periods, respectively, according to the study results.

"A citywide stroke system of care that includes a preferential triage policy and paramedic and public education can have a significant, immediate, sustainable impact on IV tPA use," the study concludes.

Explore further: Lean process methods expedite care in ischemic stroke

More information: JAMA Neurol. Published online July 1, 2013. doi:10.1001/.jamaneurol.2013.293

Related Stories

Timely treatment after stroke is crucial, researchers report

June 19, 2013

For years, the mantra of neurologists treating stroke victims has been "time equals brain." That's because getting a patient to the emergency room quickly to receive a drug that dissolves the stroke-causing blood clot can ...

Recommended for you

New theory explains how beta waves arise in the brain

July 25, 2016

Beta rhythms, or waves of brain activity with an approximately 20 Hz frequency, accompany vital fundamental behaviors such as attention, sensation and motion and are associated with some disorders such as Parkinson's disease. ...

Visual pigment rhodopsin forms two-molecule complexes in vivo

July 25, 2016

The study of rhodopsin—the molecule that allows the eye to detect dim light—has a long and well-recognized history of more than 100 years. Nevertheless, there is still controversy about the structure in which the molecule ...

Scientists show how memories are linked in the brain

July 22, 2016

Some memories just seem to go together. Think about an important experience in your life. You may also closely remember another experience that happened around that time too, like exchanging vows at your wedding, and then ...

Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice

July 22, 2016

A team led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans' Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The findings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.