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Stroke victims don’t call 911

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WASHINGTON DC—More than one third of people who are having a stroke do not call 911, even though this is the quickest way to lifesaving treatment. Unless treated within a number of hours, stroke symptoms can become irreversible, allowing for serious damage to the brain.

“Prompt diagnosis and early management is essential to decrease morbidity and mortality after stroke.” Lead researcher Dr James Ekundayo stated. “If about one-third do not arrive by ambulance, the implication is that they have delayed evaluation and treatment with lifesaving drugs.”

Prior research has shown that administration of clot busting drugs for ischemic stroke within two hours of symptom onset can greatly reduce the odds of disability. Medical first responders are advised of a golden hour for stroke patients, and are instructed to bring these patients to the hospital as quickly as possible.

 The study looked at how over 200,000 stroke patients arrived at the emergency room from 2003 to 2010. While 64% took an ambulance, the rest found other forms of transportation.

Patients who used Emergency Medica Services had shorter pre-hospital and in-hospital delays. “They arrived earlier, had prompter evaluation, and received more rapid treatment.” Ekundayo said.

Time is reduced because emergency professional alert the staff to a possible stroke prior to arrival.

By: Julia Roake

Source: US News

Image: US News

30 April 2013

10:00am PDT

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