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Patients & Public > Research using SSNAP data > Plain English Summaries > Are clot-dissolving drugs getting faster in the UK?

Lay summary: Are clot-dissolving drugs getting faster in the UK?

Blood clots can cause a stroke if they block blood supply to the brain. Patients who receive clot-dissolving drugs are more likely to have a good outcome after a stroke. Previous research suggests that clot-dissolving drugs work best if given to patients within 4.5 hours of the stroke. As a result, it is important that clot-dissolving drugs are given to patients as soon as possible after they arrive at the hospital.

This study measured whether the time taken to give patients clot-dissolving drugs has improved over the last 5 years. SSNAP data from stroke patients from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who received clot-dissolving drugs between July 2013 and September 2018 were analysed. 52% of patients received clot-dissolving drugs within 1 hour of arriving at the hospital in 2013. This increased to 63% of patients by 2018.

By 2018, the time taken for patients to receive a clot dissolving drug after arriving at hospital had decreased (got faster). The median time taken to receive a clot-dissolving drug (after arriving at hospital) decreased steadily from 59 minutes in 2013 to 51 minutes in 2018. However, this steady decrease was seen in England only, the rates of decrease in Wales and Northern Ireland have slowed in recent years. Further strategies to reduce the time taken to give patients clot-dissolving drugs and maximise their benefits are needed.

About the poster:
Poster title: 'Is intravenous thrombolysis getting any faster in the UK? Data from the National Stroke Registry' 
Year published: 2019
Authors: Alice McAulay, Victoria McCurran, George Dunn, Alex Hoffman, Charles Wolfe, Martin James, and Anthony G Rudd.

View the full poster here.
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