Urgent therapy for acute stroke. Effects of a stroke trial on untreated patients.
As part of the recruitment efforts for the National Institutes of Health Tissue Plasminogen Activator Pilot Study, public education and awareness campaigns were conducted to encourage early hospital arrival. We evaluated the change in arrival times during the course of the study for all stroke patients, including those who were not entered into study.
Data were gathered on all patients presenting within 24 hours of stroke onset to all of the study hospitals. Coincident with the start of the study, educational and promotional programs, which stressed signs and symptoms of stroke and the need to call 911, were presented to physicians, paramedical personnel, and the public. The study was divided into four quartiles to analyze differences in time to hospital arrival and use of 911.
Of 2099 patients screened, time data were available on 1116. During the course of the study, the mean time from symptom onset to hospital arrival declined significantly (3.2 hours versus 1.5 hours). Patients arrived for treatment sooner at community hospitals than at university/teaching hospitals. The use of 911 increased from 39% in the first quartile of the study to 60% in the fourth quartile. This was a consistent finding in all study sites. Increased use of 911 was seen almost exclusively in patients with nonhemorrhagic stroke.
Times from stroke onset to hospital arrival decreased significantly during the course of the National Institutes of Health Tissue Plasminogen Activator Pilot Study. Significantly increased use of 911 was the likely major explanation for the shortened arrival times. The decrease in arrival times may be a consequence of the public and professional education programs conducted at all study sites.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association