First-ever recommendations published in June 21 issue of JAMA
BETHESDA, MD -- A national stroke coalition today announced it is advocating for all hospitals to establish stroke centers or other programs to reduce deaths and disabilities from stroke.
The June 21, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) features the first-ever recommendations for hospital stroke centers, authored by members of the Brain Attack Coalition, a group of professional, volunteer and government organizations dedicated to improving stroke treatment and prevention.
"Our recommendations are similar to those guiding trauma centers -- getting patients to facilities where the specialists and infrastructure are in place to evaluate and treat them quickly. If facilities can put together the resources to treat trauma patients, why can't they do the same for stroke patients?" said Mark J. Alberts, M.D., lead author of the JAMA paper. Dr. Alberts is also chairman of the Stroke Belt Consortium and director of the stroke acute care unit at Duke University Medical Center.
There are clot-busting medicines and other treatments to help reverse the symptoms of stroke. Yet, many hospitals still lack the necessary staff and equipment to triage and treat stroke patients in the rapid, efficient manner required. Certain clot-busting therapies must be administered within 3 hours of symptom onset for the treatments to be safe and effective.
The two major goals of the stroke center recommendations are the improvement in the level of care provided to stroke patients and the standardization of some aspects of acute care for such patients. The JAMA article presents a blueprint of the components necessary for hospitals to launch stroke centers and includes estimated costs for the different components, outlined in the attached fact sheet. In the article, the authors express their hope that the adoption of these recommendations will increase the use
Contact: Margo Warren or Marian Emr
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke