Stroke-busting drugs getting to more patients

The Target initiative, a program aimed to get brain-saving treatment to stroke patients, is paying off.
April 22, 2014 2:55:33 PM PDT
A 4-year-old program to get brain-saving treatment to stroke patients is paying off.

The Target initiative was created by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to get patients evaluated faster, and to give them clot-busting drugs faster.

Before the program, only 29 per cent of patients got clot-busters within an hour of getting to the hospital.

Now, more than 53% get the drug in that time, which is considered crucial to saving lives and decreasing disability.

"There was a reduction in mortality, more patients were able to be disharged home, more patients were able to walk on their own, says Dr. Gregg Fonarow, who led the evaluation of the program.

Experts say that up to 2 million brain cells die for every minute that a blood vessel to the brain is blocked.

They say more hospitals should get into the Target initiative.


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