Barriers to administering intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for acute ischemic stroke in the emergency department: A cross-sectional survey of stroke centers

Mitch Hargis, Jharna N. Shah, Janine Mazabob, Chethan Venkatasubba Rao, Jose I. Suarez, Eric M. Bershad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective The logistics involved in administration of IV tPA for acute ischemic stroke patients are complex, and may contribute to variability in door-to-needle times between different hospitals. We sought to identify practice patterns in stroke centers related to IV tPA use. We hypothesized that there would be significant variability in logistics related to ancillary staff (i.e. nursing, pharmacists) processes in the emergency room setting. Methods A 21 question survey was distributed to attendees of the AHA/ASA Southwest Affiliate Stroke Coordinators Conference to evaluate potential barriers and delays with regards to thrombolysis for acute strokes patients in the Emergency Department setting. Answers were anonymous and aggregated to examine trends in responses. Results Responses were obtained from 37 of 67 (55%) stroke centers, which were located mainly in the Southwest United States. Logistical processes differed between facilities. Nursing and pharmacy carried stroke pagers in only 19% of the centers, and pharmacy responded to stroke alerts only one-third of centers. Insertion of Foley catheters and nasogastric tubes prior to tPA was routine in some of the sites. Other barriers to IV tPA administration included physician reluctance and inadequate communication between health care providers. Conclusion Practices regarding logistics for giving IV tPA may be variable amongst different stroke centers. Given this potential variability, prospective evaluation to confirm these preliminary findings is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume135
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Barriers
  • Emergency department
  • IV tPA
  • Stroke centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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