Wednesday 17 Sep 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

SimpleScience@Heart: Speed matters in stroke treatment: 30-minute delay = 10 percent drop in good recovery

Published: 11:00 am CDT, February 8, 2013

It’s the terrifying math of stroke treatment: For every 30-minute delay, chances of good recovery go down 10 percent.

Here’s how the 30-10 Formula works. New research shows that a half-hour delay in removing a blood clot that’s causing a stroke equates to the 10 percent drop in likelihood of a good recovery.

Doctors must give intravenous drugs to bust up clots within 4½ hours of the start of stroke — and even faster for better outcomes. After that, they can deliver clot busters directly to the clot or use mechanical devices to remove a clot.

Common reasons for delays in getting stroke treatment include:

  • Patients or witnesses don’t recognize the signs of a stroke.
  • Family members drive someone having a stroke to the hospital instead of calling 9-1-1.
  • Emergency departments delay evaluating a patient.
  • Hospital staff delay transferring patients to a facility with expertise in stroke care.

So, the bottom line: Learn how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly.

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