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Published on August 21, 2018

New stroke guidelines increase patient access to some emergency care

New guidelines have expanded the timeframe during which some emergency stroke care can be administered. These guidelines will potentially allow more patients to be treated and reduce the rate of long-term disability and death from stroke.

For those who qualify, the American Stroke Association announced earlier this year that endovascular procedures can be performed up to 24 hours from the onset of symptoms. However, in all cases, time is still crucial in ensuring positive outcomes. This new treatment timeline is much longer than the previously established six-hour window.

While the updated recommendation means more patients will likely benefit from endovascular procedures such as mechanical thrombolysis, previously established guidelines remain unchanged for other emergency stroke care. Clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) still can only be administered up to four and a half hours from the onset of symptoms, and only up to three hours for certain patients.

Time remains of the essence when it comes to treating your stroke patients, but the doors have been opened to more treatment opportunities. Emergency care should never be delayed. For more information about the updated stroke guidelines and how they may affect your patients, please contact Gundersen's Primary Stroke Center via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 (in La Crosse 775-5465).

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