Background: Many patients who receive tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) are medically stable, yet current practice is to keep all patients on bedrest for a minimum of 24 hours.
Purpose: The purpose of this research project was to compare the current practice of bedrest for 24 hours after patients received t-PA with a physical therapy evaluation and treatment plan initiated between 6 and 24 hours of the patients receiving t-PA. Our goal was to assure safety by proving non-inferiority with rapid evaluation.
Methods: All patients receiving t-PA were considered for this study. Consent was obtained for 30 patients by study investigators. Patient were deemed medically stable by the attending physician. Control group consisted of 51 suspected stroke patients who received t-PA from January through August 2015. Comparison data for primary endpoints was falls, mortality, and length of stay to measure non-inferiority. Comparison data for secondary endpoints was initial and last documented National Institutes of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS) to measure patient outcomes after intervention.
Results: Our study showed no significant difference in falls, mortality or length of stay. The improvement in the NIHSS at discharge was also not statistically significant.
Conclusion: In conclusion, Physical Therapists evaluating patients within 24 hours of receiving t-PA, while not decreasing length of stay or statistically improving outcomes at discharge; we found early therapy is safe for most of our stroke population.