Background: Target Stroke establishes the goal to administer IV Alteplase within 60 minutes of ED arrival. High-performing centers frequently treat within 45 minutes. Median door-to-needle (DTN) times at our tertiary care academic hospital are consistently < 30 minutes. Monthly case reviews investigate factors associated with DTN times greater than 45 minutes.
Methods: Utilizing our stroke registry, patients treated with Alteplase from 2013-2015 were identified. Baseline demographics, medical comorbidities, weekend or after hours (7PM-7AM) presentation, initial NIHSS, initial BP greater than 185/110 and management, posterior circulation symptoms and ED crowding using the National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (NEDOCS) were extracted. Arrival date and time of arrival were cross-referenced with NEDOCS. Patients were divided into cohorts of treatment less than 45 minutes vs. greater than 45 minutes. Continuous variables were tested for normal distribution using Shapiro-Wilk, then either an unpaired t test or Wilcoxon’s test was applied to test for significance. Dichotomous variables were tested for significance with Chi-square analysis.
Results: A total of 239 patients were included in the analysis. Data is presented in Table 1. After adjusting for multiple comparisons, there was a statistically significant difference in the distribution of baseline NIHSS scores (p=0.0006), diabetes (p=0.0023), and minor strokes (NIHSS less than 3, p=0.0003).
Conclusion: Diabetics and patients with minor symptoms are more likely to have longer DTN times. Elevated BP, ED crowding, weekend and after hour arrivals do not significantly delay evaluation and treatment. While not significant after adjusting for multiple tests, both posterior stoke recognition and method of treating BP should be scrutinized as they are modifiable risk factors. Future awareness of discrete patient characteristics may help identify patients at risk for prolonged DTN.DTN.