ABSTRACT: The advances in the diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke increase the importance of providing these patients with timely medical attention. This study was designed to assess time delays in neurological evaluation and neuroimaging and to determine whether they are important obstacles to performing thrombolytic therapy.
Data were obtained between May 2004 and September 2006 from 195 consecutive patients who were admitted to Cheju National University Hospital for acute ischemic stroke within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. We determined the time of the onset of symptoms, arrival time at the emergency department (ED), and times of neurology notification, neurology evaluation, and neuroimaging using interviews and by reviewing the medical record.
Short onset-to-door time, performing computed tomography rather than magnetic resonance imaging, presence of aphasia or motor weakness, and severe initial neurological deficit were significantly associated with reduced in-hospital delays. Seventeen (20%) of the 85 patients who arrived within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms received intravenous thrombolysis. Mild neurological deficit, rapidly improving symptoms, and insufficient time to workup were the main causes of the nonreceipt of thrombolytic therapy in these patients. Only one patient did not receive thrombolytic therapy due to delay in neurology consultation.
Whilst in-hospital delays were not major obstacles to performing thrombolytic therapy in this study, there is still a high probability of missing patients with mild-to-moderate stroke symptoms. More effective in-hospital organization is required for the prompt evaluation and treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke.
Journal of Clinical Neurology 07/2007; 3(2):71-8. · 1.69 Impact Factor