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The 2020 update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (CSBPR) for the Secondary Prevention of Stroke includes current evidence-based recommendations and expert opinions intended for use by clinicians across a broad range of settings. They provide guidance for the prevention of ischemic stroke recurrence through the identification and management of modifiable vascular risk factors. Recommendations address triage, diagnostic testing, lifestyle behaviors, vaping, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, other cardiac conditions, antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies, and carotid and vertebral artery disease. This update of the previous 2017 guideline contains several new or revised recommendations. Recommendations regarding triage and initial assessment of acute transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke have been simplified, and selected aspects of the etiological stroke workup are revised. Updated treatment recommendations based on new evidence have been made for dual antiplatelet therapy for TIA and minor stroke; anticoagulant therapy for atrial fibrillation; embolic strokes of undetermined source; low-density lipoprotein lowering; hypertriglyceridemia; diabetes treatment; and patent foramen ovale management. A new section has been added to provide practical guidance regarding temporary interruption of antithrombotic therapy for surgical procedures. Cancer-associated ischemic stroke is addressed. A section on virtual care delivery of secondary stroke prevention services in included to highlight a shifting paradigm of care delivery made more urgent by the global pandemic. In addition, where appropriate, sex differences as they pertain to treatments have been addressed. The CSBPR include supporting materials such as implementation resources to facilitate the adoption of evidence into practice and performance measures to enable monitoring of uptake and effectiveness of recommendations.
We reviewed stroke care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic at our stroke center and provincial telestroke system. We counted referrals to our prevention clinic, code strokes, thrombolysis, endovascular thrombectomies, and activations of a provincial telestroke system from February to April of 2017–2020. In April 2020, there was 28% reduction in prevention clinic referrals, 32% reduction in code strokes, and 26% reduction in telestroke activations compared to prior years. Thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy rates remained constant. Fewer patients received stroke services across the spectrum from prevention, acute care to telestroke care in Ontario, Canada, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: For optimal stroke prevention, best practices guidelines recommend carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for symptomatic patients within two weeks; however, 2013 Ontario data indicated that only 9% of eligible patients from outpatient Stroke Prevention Clinics (SPCs) achieved this target. The goal of our study was to identify modifiable system factors that could enhance the quality and timeliness of care among patients needing urgent CEA. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of transient ischemic attack/stroke patients assessed in Champlain Local Health Integrated Network SPCs between 2011 and 2014 who subsequently underwent CEA. Descriptive statistics were used to define patient characteristics, timelines from symptom onset to CEA, and system factors that contributed to delays or improvements in care. Multivariate analysis was used to determine statistically significant variations between groups. Results: Seventy-five records were eligible for study inclusion. Median time from initial symptoms to CEA was 31 days, with 21.3% of patients undergoing surgery within 2 weeks. Significant delays were common in patient presentation and assessment following symptom onset, wait times for vascular imaging and neurological assessment, and time from surgical assessment to CEA completion. Rapid testing and triage, coupled with collaborative initiatives among SPC, surgical, and radiology teams were associated with significantly improved timelines. Conclusions: Success factors for rapid CEA are multifaceted, including system changes that address public awareness of stroke and 911 response, improvements in vascular imaging access, and redesign of clinical services to promote collaboration and fast-tracking of care. Implementation of performance measures to monitor and guide clinical innovations is recommended.
We describe the realization of high quality self-assembled single wall carbon nanotube field effect transistors (CNTFET). A method using self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) is used to obtain high yield selective deposition placement of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on predefined regions of a substrate. This is achieved with individual or small bundles of SWNTs and with high densities suitable for fabrication of integrated devices. We show that such positioned SWNTs can be electrically contacted to realize high performance transistors, which very well compare with state-of-the-art CNTFETs. We therefore validate the self-assembly approach to reliably fabricate efficient carbon nanotube based devices.
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