Despite Access, Few in U.S. Get Recommended Stroke Care
(HealthDay News) — Even though most Americans have access to hospitals that are capable of providing acute care for ischemic stroke, treatment rates are low, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, held from February 12–14 in San Diego.
Opeolu Adeoye, MD, of the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues analyzed demographic data and Medicare claims data to evaluate access to facilities that provide intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or endovascular therapy (ET) and treatment rates for acute stroke care.
The researchers found that, by ground transit, 81% of the U.S. population had access to IV tPA-capable hospitals within 60 minutes, 66% had access to primary stroke centers, and 56% had access to ET-capable hospitals. By air transit, 97% had access to IV tPA-capable hospitals within 60 minutes, 91% had access to primary stroke centers, and 85% had access to ET-capable hospitals. Among 370,351 patients with ischemic stroke, 4% received IV tPA and 0.5% received ET.
"We strongly suggest that patients go to the hospital by ambulance, that they or whoever is with them ask to go to a stroke center and ask for tPA," Adeoye said in a statement.