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Clot-Busting Stroke Drug Could Save $200M Annually

Christine Leccese, for HealthLeaders Media, February 10, 2011

Conservative estimates of lifetime disability costs are about $100,000 per patient. Therefore, researchers theorize that at least $200 million can be saved each year in disability costs as a result of disability caused by mild stroke.

Approximately 795,000 people have a new or repeat stroke every year. Of those, about 610,000 are first time events and 185,000 are recurrent. Khatri said that about 43,000 people who seek medical help for a stroke are having what would be considered a "mild" stroke and arrive in time to benefit from tPA.

Dr. Gregory Lekovic, MD, PhD, a neurological surgeon at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, added that assessing stroke patients is challenging since things can progress and change quickly. "What may look like a mild stroke at two o'clock can be a coma at three o'clock," Dr. Lekovic said. He added that a bigger issue in treating stroke patients is triaging them so that the EMS system will take patients having strokes directly to stroke centers.

See Also:
Creating Stroke Systems of Care
Stroke Mortality Rate Higher for Weekend Admissions
After stroke scans, patients face serious health risks
Stroke drug's use varied across Massachusetts

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