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National Study Shows Faster Stroke Diagnosis and Care At Capital Health

Capital Institute for Neurosciences recently published a study in the journal Neurosurgery that showed its unique pre-hospital stroke alert (PHSA) program is shortening the time it takes to deliver potentially life-saving, “clot-busting” drugs.

“When it comes to time-sensitive brain conditions like stroke, every single minute counts. We continually look at how we can improve and expedite care so that the ultimate outcome is much better for the patient,” said Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences.

Experts at Capital Health train EMS personnel from around the region to identify stroke patients, enabling them to send a notification to the emergency department before arriving at the hospital.

As a result, patients go directly to the CT suite, instead of stopping in the emergency department, which wastes valuable time. They are met by the neurological emergency team, which performs a quick assessment and CT scan of the brain. If a stroke is confirmed, treatment can start immediately.

Dr. Mandy J. Binning, Director of the institute’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, was lead researcher on the study.

Capital Health opened the first neurological emergency room at its Regional Medical Center a few years ago, making it a pioneer in the treatment of neurological emergencies.

According to the study, Capital Health’s pre-hospital stroke alert (PHSA) system made stroke care faster:

• 18% of stroke patients received tPA, a clot-busting medication (up from5% over previous three years)

• CT scans performed12 minutes on average after arrival (down from 35 minutes)

• Median time to treatment with tPA was 44 minutes (16 minutes less than current ASA/AHA guidelines and now one of the fastest times in the country).

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