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Portable CT Increases Chance of Stroke Survival and Recovery
Date:12/1/2008

in the brain. NINDS recommends that patients who arrive in the emergency room (ER) with signs of acute stroke undergo CT imaging within 25 minutes.

For the study, Dr. Weinreb and colleagues began using a portable CT scanner to assess stroke patients in the ER of NSMC-Salem Hospital. During the month prior to the acquisition of the portable scanner and for a four-month period following its installation, researchers measured how much time elapsed between a physician order for a head CT and performance of the scan.

The availability of the CT scanner in the hospital's ER reduced the time between the order and exam from 34 minutes to 15 minutes, a reduction of 54 percent. Based on simulation modeling, the researchers estimated that this improvement would increase by 86 percent the number of stroke patients able to be treated with thrombolytic therapy within the three-hour window.

According to Dr. Weinreb, most stroke patients are taken to relatively small community hospitals where access to CT scanning may be limited. When a CT scanner is available, it is not always in proximity to the ER, making transportation of critically ill patients to the radiology department both difficult and time-consuming.

"A portable eight-slice CT can be easily added and used to accurately identify a head bleed in a stroke or trauma patient," Dr. Weinreb said. "This new technology is able to solve a very important problem for a community hospital, where the majority of stroke victims are being treated."

Co-author is James E. Stahl, M.D.

Disclosure: Dr. Weinreb consults as a medical writer for Neurologica.

AT A GLANCE

  • Using a portable CT scanner in a hospital emergency room may increase the number of patients successfully treated for stroke within the critical three-hour window by 86 percent.'/>"/>

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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