Abstract 5: Management Of Intravenous tPA In Non-ICU Environments: Safety, Clinical Outcome, And Cost Savings
Background: Administration of IV tPA has traditionally necessitated admission to an ICU solely for monitoring, with relatively no need for extensive critical care services. Stroke Units that are capable of monitoring IV tPA patients have been proposed to reduce ICU use, but limited data exist that demonstrate safety. We report the largest series of non-ICU managed tPA cases in relation to safety and discharge outcomes.
Methods: Consecutive cases admitted to our intermediate-level Stroke Unit spanning 2009-2011 were assembled. Unit capabilities include IV tPA management with nicardipine infusion for blood pressure control as needed, non-invasive or direct central/arterial line and cardiac monitoring, and BiPAP ventilation. Stroke Unit nurses underwent extensive orientation and participate in NET SMART Junior for continuing education. Overall sICH, and drip/ship sICH (parenchymal hemorrhage in combination with > 4 point increase on the NIHSS), systemic hemorrhage, and tPA related death rates were calculated, along with discharge mRS and total ICU cost savings per day.
Results: A total of 302 Stroke Unit admissions for intravenous tPA occurred over the 3 year period, while another 31 (10%) were excluded due to critical care admission for systemic hemodynamic or pulmonary instability. Nicardipine infusions were used in 9 (10.5%) Stroke Unit tPA cases in 2009, 10 (9%) in 2010, and 14 (13%) in 2011. Overall sICH rate was 3.3% (n=10) and systemic hemorrhage rate was 2.9% (n=9) with 5 of these (56%) requiring transfusion. Estimated cost savings in total for this 3 year period was $362,400 for “avoided” ICU days.
Conclusions: Intravenous tPA patients may be safely managed on non-ICU Stroke Units when nurses undergo extensive education to ensure clinical competence. Use of the ICU solely for management of tPA monitoring needs may constitute significant overuse of system resources at an expense that is not associated with additional safety benefit.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.