Treatment Delays for Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke in an Iranian Emergency Department: A Retrospective Chart Review

Hadi Hassankhani, PhD, Amin Soheili,

Study objective

We evaluate the extent and nature of treatment delays and the contributing factors influencing them for patients with acute ischemic stroke, as well as main barriers to stroke care in an Iranian emergency department (ED).


A retrospective chart review was conducted on 394 patients with acute ischemic stroke who were referred to the ED of a tertiary academic medical center in northwest Iran from March 21 to June 21, 2017. The steps of this review process included instrument development, medical records retrieval, data extraction, and data verification. Primary outcomes were identified treatment delays and causes of loss of eligibility for intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-tPA).



Of patients with acute ischemic stroke, 80.2% did not meet intravenous r-tPA eligibility; the most common cause was delayed (>4.5 hours) ED arrival after symptom onset (71.82%; n=283). Of 19.8% of subjects for whom the stroke code was activated, intravenous r-tPA was administered in only 5.3%. The average time from patients’ arrival to first emergency medicine resident visit, notification of acute stroke team, presence of neurology resident, and computed tomography scan interpretation was lower for patients who met criteria of intravenous r-tPA than for those who lost eligibility for fibrinolytic therapy. The average door-to-needle time was 69 minutes (interquartile range 46 to 91 minutes).



Our ED and acute stroke team had a favorable clinical performance meeting established critical time goals of inhospital care for potentially eligible patients, but a poor clinical performance for the majority of patients who were not candidates for fibrinolytic therapy.

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