ED crowding tied to potentially fatal delays in stroke care

From Reuters:

Stroke patients may wait longer to get scans needed for treatment when they arrive at an overcrowded emergency department, putting them at increased risk for death or serious disability, a recent study suggests.

Researchers focused on how often patients had a so-called “door-to-imaging” time of 25 minutes or less. Only patients who get brain scans quickly can receive an intravenous therapy known as thrombolysis to dissolve clots and potentially avert severe damage to the brain.

“Timely treatment of certain acute stroke cases is crucial,” said lead study author Dr. Martin Reznek, of the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and UMassMemorial Health System in Worcester.

“Emergency department crowding can be dangerous,” Reznek added by email.

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