Stroke :: State actions increase clot buster treatment to stroke patients

Measures in Florida and Massachusetts requiring paramedics to transport qualifying patients to stroke centers increased the number of patients receiving the only approved treatment for ischemic stroke in each state, according to separate reports presented at the American Stroke Association?s International Stroke Conference 2007.

The clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can lessen the adverse permanent effects of a stroke caused by a clot that blocks blood flow in or to the brain. This type of stroke, known as an ischemic stroke, is responsible for more than 80 percent of all strokes. However, to be effective, tPA must be administered within three hours of stroke symptom onset, which limits the number of people eligible because many arrive at the hospital too late.

The 2005 data from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry indicated that only 3 percent to 8.5 percent ischemic stroke patients received tPA.

?In Florida there was an inequality in acute stroke care that primarily had to do with the lay of the land,? said Scott Silliman, M.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville. ?Florida has large metropolitan areas, particularly along the southern coast, but in between them are wide swaths of rural areas that have small community hospitals.?

The American Heart Association, the Florida Hospital Association and other healthcare providers developed the Florida Stroke Act (FSA) to improve stroke care in the state.

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Stroke :: State actions increase clot buster treatment to stroke patients
by ( Author at Spirit India )
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