Study underlines importance of speedy treatment of stroke patients

Hospitals that perform stroke treatment on more than 50 patients per year generally begin the treatment faster than hospitals that provide less stroke care, and beginning treatment even 15 minutes faster can be a huge boon for stroke patients, according to a study published in JAMA.

The study, led by researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, uses data from the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke nationwide US quality registry from January 2015 to December 2016. The researchers examined data for 6,756 ischemic stroke patients treated with endovascular reperfusion therapy.

Researchers assesses outcomes based on door-to-puncture time, which is the interval from the patient's arrival at the hospital to the time treatment begins.

The study shows the median door-to-puncture time was one hour and 27 minutes. When the door-to-puncture time was cut by 15 minutes, 15 fewer people died per 1,000 patients. Additionally, 17 more per 1,000 patients were able to walk out of the hospital without assistance.

Hospitals that performed endovascular reperfusion therapy on more than 50 patients annually had faster door-to-puncture times than hospitals that performed fewer than 30 of those procedures.

The door-to-puncture times are also longer at hospitals that are not certified as comprehensive stroke centers.

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