Drip-and-Ship Thrombolytic Treatment Paradigm Among Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients in the United States
Background and Purpose—To provide a national assessment of thrombolytic administration using drip-and-ship treatment paradigm.
Methods—Patients treated with the drip-and-ship paradigm among all acute ischemic stroke patients treated with thrombolytic treatment were identified within the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Thrombolytic utilization, patterns of referral, comparative in-hospital outcomes, and hospitalization charges related to drip-and-ship paradigm were determined. All the in-hospital outcomes were analyzed after adjusting for potential confounders using multivariate analysis.
Results—Of the 22 243 ischemic stroke patients who received thrombolytic treatment, 4474 patients (17%) were treated using drip-and-ship paradigm. Of these 4474 patients, 81% were referred to urban teaching hospitals for additional care, and 7% of them received follow-up endovascular treatment. States with a higher proportion of patients treated using the drip-and-ship paradigm had higher rates of overall thrombolytic utilization (5.4% versus 3.3%; P<0.001). The rate of home discharge/self-care was significantly higher in patients treated with drip-and-ship paradigm compared with those who received thrombolytics through primary emergency department arrival in the multivariate analysis (OR, 1.198; 95% CI, 1.019–1.409; P=0.0286).
Conclusions—One of every 6 thrombolytic-treated patients in United States is treated using drip-and-ship paradigm. States with the highest proportion of drip-and-ship cases were also the states with the highest thrombolytic utilization.
- Received March 16, 2012.
- Accepted April 11, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.