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Point-of-care laboratory halves door-to-therapy-decision time in acute stroke

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Abstract

Currently, stroke laboratory examinations are usually performed in the centralized hospital laboratory, but often planned thrombolysis is given before all results are available, to minimize delay. In this study, we examined the feasibility of gaining valuable time by transferring the complete stroke laboratory workup required by stroke guidelines to a point-of-care laboratory system, that is, placed at a stroke treatment room contiguous to the computed tomography, where the patients are admitted and where they obtain neurological, laboratory, and imaging examinations and treatment by the same dedicated team. Our results showed that reconfiguration of the entire stroke laboratory analysis to a point-of-care system was feasible for 200 consecutively admitted patients. This strategy reduced the door-to-therapy-decision times from 84 ± 26 to 40 ± 24 min (p < 0.001). Results of most laboratory tests (except activated partial thromboplastin time and international normalized ratio) revealed close agreement with results from a standard centralized hospital laboratory. These findings may offer a new solution for the integration of laboratory workup into routine hyperacute stroke management. Ann Neurol 2011;

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