HealthDay News — Having a pharmacist at bedside during acute ischemic stroke is associated with significantly shorter door-to-needle (DTN) times, according to a study published recently in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Megan A. Rech, PharmD, from the Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine whether pharmacist presence at bedside during acute ischemic stroke correlated with a reduction in DTN times. Data were included for 125 patients who received recombinant tissue plasminogen activator; 45 and 80 patients had and did not have a pharmacist present (PharmD and no-PharmD groups, respectively).

The researchers found that the median DTN time was significantly shorter in the PharmD group vs the no-PharmD group (48 vs 73 minutes; P <.01). Overall, 71% and 29% of patients in the PharmD and no-PharmD groups met the goal of DTN ≤60 minutes (P <.01). The only factor independently associated with reduction in DTN time was pharmacist at the bedside (β coefficient, −23.5 minutes).

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“These findings support the inclusion of a stroke-competent pharmacist in the bedside response team for acute ischemic stroke patients,” the authors write.

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Rech MA, Bennett S, Donahey E. Pharmacist participation in acute ischemic stroke decreases door-to-needle time to recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.  Ann Pharmacother. 2017;51(12):1084-1089.