Study Takes Closer Look at Overnight Strokes - News - @ JEMS.com


Study Takes Closer Look at Overnight Strokes

About 15% of strokes hit during the night; Patients may miss out on lifesaving medicine


 
 

MARY BROPHY MARCUS, USA TODAY | | Tuesday, May 10, 2011


One in seven strokes happen at night, and patients may not get medicine that could prevent brain damage, a new study suggests.

"These kinds of strokes are common -- about 15% of all strokes. That's a substantial amount of people," says study author Jason Mackey, a stroke researcher at the University of Cincinnati.

Mackey says "wake-up" stroke sufferers are more likely to miss out on a potentially lifesaving clot-busting medication called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, that can be given only within the first few hours after stroke symptoms begin. Given beyond that window, it could cause complications.

For the study, published today in the journal Neurology, researchers analyzed data from 1,854 patients over 18 who had been treated in hospital emergency departments in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky over the course of a year for ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes are caused by clots in the arteries of the brain that block blood flow, and they are the most common type of stroke.

Mackey and his colleagues found that 273 patients experienced wake-up strokes. When translated to the greater population, that suggests about 58,000 people a year, he says.

Even though it's difficult to know when a wake-up stroke first occurred, getting speedy medical care is crucial. "The most important thing is if you suspect you're having a stroke, call 911," he says.

One reason: Newer imaging technologies at some hospitals can help doctors determine whether urgent treatments can still help a patient who has had a stroke while asleep, says Ausim Azizi, professor and chairman of the department of neurology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

"There are imaging technologies that can show if there's brain tissue left that is not completely dead and can be salvaged," he says. There is also a catheter procedure that can help remove clots seen on scans.

At least 98 of the people in the study who had wake-up strokes would have been eligible for tPA, researchers said.

"No matter what, still the best thing to do is to go to the hospital," Azizi says -- and by ambulance. He says not all emergency rooms have tPA on hand or a stroke expert on call, and if an ambulance team realizes you're having a stroke, you can be rerouted to the nearest emergency room equipped to treat stroke patients.

"This is a group of patients that should be a focus for future studies," Mackey says. "It's likely that some of these strokes occurred immediately prior to awakening, and people would benefit from treatment."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, stroke, research

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >