Only 20% Have Fast Access to Best Stroke Care

FRIDAY, March 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Too few Americans have quick access to a medical center that can perform a procedure to remove stroke-causing blood clots, new research shows.

For the study, researchers examined nationwide availability of endovascular thrombectomy — removal of a blood clot with a mechanical device that’s threaded through an artery.

It improves patients’ outcomes if it’s performed within 24 hours of a stroke, according to the study authors.

The investigators found that just under 20% of Americans are within 15 minutes, by ambulance, of a stroke center capable of performing endovascular thrombectomy. Thirty percent are within 30 minutes.

“This is a significant unmet need in stroke care, as the majority of stroke patients may not have a timely access to thrombectomy, a highly effective treatment,” said study lead author Dr. Amrou Sarraj. He’s an associate professor of neurology at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Sarraj’s team also evaluated two ways to improve 15-minute access to endovascular thrombectomy.

One way — dubbed the “flipping model” — would equip 10% of hospitals within a geographic area to do the procedure. A second way —

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