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Medical News & Perspectives |

Reducing Door-to-Needle Time for tPA Use Remains an Elusive Goal in Stroke Care

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2011;305(13):1288-1289. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.378.
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Hospitals continue to experience delays in administering a potentially lifesaving drug to patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke.

At issue is tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), the only thrombolytic therapy proven to reduce ischemic stroke mortality and morbidity. But the drug is strongly time dependent. Some researchers estimate that among 100 patients given tPA within the 1- to 3-hour treatment window, every 10-minute delay in the start of therapy reduces by 1 the number of patients having an improved disability outcome.

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Reducing the time needed to deliver clot-busting tissue-type plasminogen activator to patients with ischemic stroke presenting to an emergency department remains a difficult task.

(Photo credit: Catherine Yeulet/iStockphoto.com)

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