Stroke news tips for Thursday, Feb. 7, 2002

To complement our news releases, here are some additional news tips reported by News Media Relations from the more than 400 abstracts and presentations. Abstract numbers are listed for each tip. Note: Embargo times listed. All times Central Standard. For more information Feb. 7-9, call Carole Bullock, Bridgette McNeill, or Karen Hunter at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center (210) 582-7159. Before or after those dates, call News Media Relations in Dallas: (214) 706-1279 or (214) 706-1135.

5:30 p.m. #P123 Strategy improves clot-busting treatment rates. The proportion of ischemic stroke patients receiving thrombolytic drugs (clot-busters) which must be delivered within three hours of symptom onset is low. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario initiated the Coordinated Stroke Strategy (CSS) in May 1998 in an effort to improve access to thrombolytics throughout the province. Only five stroke patients received thrombolytic treatment in London, Ontario, between January 1996 and June 3, 1999. A stroke strategy coordinator was hired in February 1999 to reorganize hospital treatment protocols. Stroke fellows or stroke neurologists treated patients. The treatment rate rose to 3.5 patients per month during the last half of 1999, then jumped to an average of six patients per month following a public awareness campaign that began in February 2000. The average number of patients treated for stroke in the community rose to seven patients per month during the first half of 2001. A 2000 independent audit showed that of 82 consecutive ischemic stroke patients, 25 (30 percent) received thrombolytics. Researchers conclude that the CSS led to a dramatic increase in the stroke treatment rate and credit the critical role of the stroke facilitators efforts to reorganize protocols and the public awareness campaign.

Brian Silver, M.D., Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich., (313) 916-9107; e-mail: silver@neuro.hfh.ed

Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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