Identification and entry of the patient with acute cerebral infarction

William G. Barsan, Thomas G. Brott, Charles P. Olinger, Harold P. Adams, E. Clarke Haley, David E. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although time has been recognized as a critical factor in the treatment of other arterial occlusive disorders, it has been an underemphasized variable in the treatment of acute stroke. Animal models of cerebral arterial occlusion have demonstrated that neurologic recovery is more likely the shorter the duration of occlusion. Complete recovery does not occur if the occlusion persists more than six hours. Prior trials have only rarely begun treatment within six hours of stroke onset. Over the past five years, we have participated in three stroke trials and have tried to identify factors that lead to delays in treatment. Factors that affect the time from stroke onset to arrival at the hospital include recognition of acute stroke by the patient, prehospital care personnel, and physicians. After arrival at the hospital, factors that can significantly delay treatment include the time to obtain computed tomography and the site of treatment (emergency department vs ICU). With proper attention, the time from patient arrival until treatment should be less than one hour. Future efforts should be directed toward reducing the time from stroke onset until arrival at the hospital. Education of the public, high-risk patients, prehospital care providers, and physicians may aid in these efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1195
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1988


  • stroke
  • time to treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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