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US stroke patients don't reach hospital quickly enough

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 16 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:384
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

    Only 2% of patients with ischaemic stroke who were admitted to hospital were treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, a survey of 15 hospitals in Michigan has found. The main reason was that patients arrived later than the three hour window needed for the intravenous “clot busting” treatment, the report says (Neurology 2006;66:306-12).

    The study evaluated 2566 patients with acute stroke who were admitted to the hospitals during six months in 2002. Among them were 2097 patients considered to have non-haemorrhagic stroke, but 1644 (78%) did not receive the drug because it was not known when their stroke symptoms began or whether the symptoms had started three or more hours earlier. Another 123 patients had documented contraindications to treatment.

    The remaining 330 patients were considered eligible for the treatment, but …

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