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Stroke Care on Weekends, Weekdays Compared

Virginia study finds more aggressive stroke therapy and equivalent mortality on weekends

FRIDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the notion that hospital emergency care on weekends is less aggressive than weekday care, the use of tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is higher on weekends than weekdays, according to a retrospective study of AIS care in Virginia published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Abby S. Kazley, Ph.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues assembled data on 78,657 subjects in Virginia who had suffered AIS. The researchers compared weekend and weekday emergency treatment for AIS with tissue plasminogen activator and in-hospital mortality.

The researchers found that 772 AIS patients were treated with tissue plasminogen activator during the study period and 5,413 patients died. However, patients admitted to the hospital on weekends were more likely to receive tissue plasminogen activator than patients admitted on weekdays, and there was no significant difference in patient mortality based on day of admission.

"Overall, our study findings suggest that hospital stroke care on weekends is not necessarily inferior to care provided on weekdays. In fact, certain aspects of care such as aggressiveness may be improved. Further study on care variations that may improve patient outcomes is needed," the authors write.

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