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Services with excessive delays in delivering carotid endarterectomy should close, recommends audit

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5641 (Published 20 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5641
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

People with symptoms of stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are having carotid endarterectomy to reduce their risk of severe stroke within an average of 15 days from onset of symptoms, show latest results from a regular UK audit.1 But the report shows considerable variation and recommends moving surgery from poorly performing trusts to those that meet guidelines.

The UK carotid endarterectomy audit collects information to assess the speed and quality of care of patients with carotid stenosis who undergo preventive surgery or endovascular stenting. The latest audit analysed data for 5543 patients who had carotid endarterectomy between 1 August 2010 and 30 September 2011.

Results showed that the median time between onset of symptoms and undergoing surgery was 15 days, which was less than the …

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