Feature Article

The GP’s role in acute stroke management

Parker Magin, Andre Loiselle
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The role of most GPs in acute stroke management lies in prior patient education and formulating triage systems that minimise time from the acute stroke event to patient arrival at a hospital with the capacity to deliver thrombolysis.

Key Points

  • Care in a specialised stroke unit and thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) both reduce mortality and disability in patients with acute stroke.
  • Thrombolysis requires administration of rt-PA within three hours of stroke onset for maximal efficacy.
  • GPs should expedite prompt ambulance transport of patients with acute stroke to a hospital with the capacity to deliver thrombolysis.
  • Patient and staff education regarding the symptomatology of stroke may play a role in facilitating this prompt access to thrombolysis.