Times From Symptom Onset to Hospital Arrival in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Program 2002 to 2009
Temporal Trends and Implications
Background and Purpose—Time from symptom onset to hospital arrival is the most important factor in determining eligibility for intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator. We used data from a large contemporary nationwide study to determine temporal trends in the proportions of patients arriving within time windows for potential acute ischemic stroke therapies.
Methods—Trends in symptom onset to hospital arrival time (“onset-to-door time”) for patients with acute ischemic stroke in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) program were analyzed between 2003 and 2009. Factors associated with early onset-to-door time (≤2 hours) were also examined.
Results—Between April 2003 and March 2009, 1287 hospitals submitted data on 413 147 patients with acute ischemic stroke of whom 194 352 (47.0%) had a specific onset time documented. Among all 413 147 patients, onset-to-door time was documented as ≤2 hours in 20.6%, ≤3 hours in 25.1%, ≤3.5 hours in 26.8%, and ≤8 hours in 35.8%. Early arrival within 2 hours was significantly associated with emergency medical services transport (P<0.0001). There was no substantial change in onset-to-door time over the 6-year study period. Expansion of the tissue-type plasminogen activator treatment window from 3 to 4.5 hours (allowing 60 minutes for provision of tissue-type plasminogen activator) increases the pool of potentially eligible patients by 6.3% (30.1% relative increase).
Conclusions—More than one fourth of patients with ischemic stroke arrive within the time window for tissue-type plasminogen activator therapy; however, this percentage has remained unchanged over recent years. Further efforts are needed to increase the portion of patients with acute ischemic stroke presenting within the time window for acute interventions.
- Received November 12, 2011.
- Revision received February 15, 2012.
- Accepted February 27, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.