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Phased changes in strategies can reduce delay of intravenous thrombolysis administration to 15 min

      Highlights

      • We implemented the strategic changes including the Helsinki thrombolysis model.
      • Phased strategic changes could reduce delay of tPA thrombolysis to 15 min.
      • Mild symptoms and anticoagulation were independent predictors for delay.
      • Simplification of brain imaging was a key strategy.

      Abstract

      Objectives

      The present study aimed to determine whether phased changes in strategies including the Helsinki model affect the delay of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) using tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to treat acute ischemic stroke.

      Method

      We retrospectively studied 516 consecutive patients treated with IVT in our department between October 2005 and December 2018. We implemented a system of hospital pre-notification in 2005, when IVT was initially implemented at our center. We then improved the IVT strategy by simplifying brain imaging (July 2011), premixing tPA (April 2014), locating a blood cell counter in the emergency room (June 2015), manually administering a tPA bolus before preparing a continuous infusion (January 2016), awarding a prize to members of the acute stroke team (November 2016), and completing registration before arrival and sending patients directly to computed tomography (February 2017). We analyzed the effects of these strategic changes on annual median door-to-needle times (DTN).

      Results

      The DTN was annually reduced, from a median of 90 [interquartile range, 55–98] minutes in 2006 to 15 [12–24.25] minutes in 2017. By 2017, 94% of patients were treated within 60 min of arrival. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that initial NIHSS score ≤ 4 (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.3–5.7) and anticoagulation before onset (OR 6.00, 95% CI 2.47–14.58) were independently associated with 20 min or more of DTN in 186 patients treated from 2016 to 2018.

      Conclusions

      Phased strategic change to reduce the delay in delivering IVT reduced median DTN to 15 min at a single Japanese stroke center.

      Keywords

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