More timely administration of tissue plasminogen activator (alteplase) for patients with acute ischemic stroke yields greater clinical benefits. We implemented door-to-needle (DTN) time reduction strategies at our center and evaluated their short- and long-term effects on in-hospital treatment delays and clinical outcomes.
Strategies, including stroke team prenotification, direct computed tomography transfer, not routinely waiting for laboratory results and alteplase delivery on the computed tomography table, were implemented in June 2013. We included all thrombolysed patients admitted directly to our hospital between January 2012 and March 2015. In-hospital delays and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage rates were compared between patients pre- and postmodification, and the latter period was divided into early (first 6 months) and late (beyond 6 months) phases to assess the durability of our modifications.
Forty-eight individuals were treated premodification compared with 58 postmodification. The median DTN time was reduced from 75 to 46 minutes (p<0.0001). The median DTN time in the early and late postmodification phases was not significantly different (41 vs 46 minutes, p=0.4085). There was no significant difference in rates of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (4.2 vs 1.7%, p=0.361) or stroke mimics (2.1 ves 5.2%, p=0.625)
We were able to decrease our DTN time for acute stroke thrombolysis by implementing relatively simple modifications and these improvements persisted over time.