Abstract WP242: A Drill Down Analysis of Door-to-Needle Time of Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients Treated with Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator
Background: Target stroke guidelines recommend a door-to-needle time (DNT) ≤60 minutes for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Research has shown that <30% of patients achieve this goal. It is unclear how the timing of chest radiography (CXR) and electrocardiography (EKG) affect DNT. We studied all steps involved in the evaluation and treatment of AIS with IV tPA to look for causes of delay.
Methods: A retrospective review of all AIS patients treated in the ED with IV tPA over a four year period was performed. Transferred patients were excluded. Times comparing intervals from door to head CT, CT result, EKG, CXR, and IV tPA treatment, were evaluated. Demographic data and length of symptom onset were recorded. Non-modifiable delays in treatment were recorded. Data are presented in minutes (min) as medians with interquartile range and χ2 testing was used as appropriate.
Results: A total of 79 AIS patients met inclusion criteria, with 22 (28%) receiving IV tPA ≤60 minutes. Treatment with tPA in ≤60 minutes was significantly greater if symptom onset was >90 minutes (p<0.05) and if the EKG was done after the head CT (p<0.05). There was a change in median CT times with those who received EKG before CT and those who did not, 23 min (15-36 min) and 17 min (10-24min), respectively. Patients who received a CXR before CT had a median CT time of 32 min (21-38min) compared to 19 min (13-27min) for patients who did not. Unavoidable delays related to trauma, intubation, or delayed familial consent occurred in 7 (9%) patients. Post-tPA hemorrhage occurred in 13 (16%) patients. Eight (10%) patients expired.
Conclusion: Non-critical studies performed prior to head CT increase DNT. An EKG performed before the head CT is completed increased CT time by 6 minutes and a CXR obtained before the head CT increased CT time by 13 minutes. Physician urgency is also a critical factor in DNT and is diminished in patients who arrive soon after symptom onset. DNT ≤60 minutes for AIS patients are affected by the level of urgency and order of diagnostic studies. Current primary stroke center recommendations of an EKG and CXR within 45 minutes may result in delayed treatment if these studies are performed before the head CT.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.