PubMed Health writes that a stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes referred to as a brain attack. If blood flow to the brain is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. This can cause brain cells to die and may cause permanent damage. On March 20, 2013, Cole Petrochko has reported for MedPage Today, AAN: Texting Cuts Time to Stroke Treatment.
Researchers have reported a real-time text message system helped reduce time from admission to treatment among patients who presented at an emergency department with acute ischemic stroke. According to Molly Burnett, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues, after implementing the text messaging system, median door-to-needle tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) administration time was significantly reduced in comparison with a traditional paging system. This new texting system also allowed significantly more patients to receive treatment within the recommended 60- minute door-to-needle window, at 50% versus 16%.
Stroke guidelines recommend a target door-to-needle time of less than 60 minutes. Burnett has noted that meeting that mark is complicated by the absence of "robust hospital processes to ensure prompt treatment." In order bring newer technology into this process, she and her colleagues compared the effects of a real-time text messaging intervention on door-to-needle times against nontext paging in a population of 141 acute ischemic stroke patients. Burnett concluded,"The simple intervention was associated with significant improvement in door-to-needle times."