Code stroke. An attempt to shorten inhospital therapeutic delays.
Significant delays often occur during the treatment of patients with acute stroke. Some of those delays occur in the hospital. We attempted to shorten inhospital treatment intervals by creating a rapid-response system, similar to that available for cardiac arrest, that would allow the stroke team to be available within a few minutes to care for stroke victims.
We connected all beepers (pocket pagers) of stroke team members to a common access number and instructed the emergency staff to activate that number immediately upon arrival of a stroke victim. We monitored the response time and treatment interval for patients who were treated after this system was activated (Code Stroke patients) during the first 3 months of its availability and compared the results to those of patients seen for similar reasons during the study period but without the use of Code Stroke (control patients).
A total of 12 Code Stroke patients were available for analysis, representing 12% of all patients (n = 98) seen in the emergency department for ischemic stroke during the study period. The remaining 86 patients constituted the control group. The mean time to evaluation of a Code Stroke patient by a stroke team member was 4.8 minutes (range, 2 to 7 minutes), and the mean time to treatment institution was 30 minutes (range, 10 to 120 minutes). There were significant differences between the consultation intervals in the two groups (P < .05). There was only a trend of a difference between treatment institution intervals (P = .06).
It is possible to shorten inhospital treatment delays by instituting rapid-response systems within individual institutions.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association