• Vol. 36 No. 4, 244–246
  • 15 April 2007

Timing of Hospital Presentation After Acute Cerebral Infarction and Patients’ Acceptance of Intravenous Thrombolysi

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Intravenous thrombolysis has been shown to improve outcome after acute cerebral infarction if given within 3 hours of symptom onset. There are no data in Singapore on the timing of hospital presentation after acute cerebral infarction as well as factors and reasons for delayed presentation. Materials and Methods: As intravenous thrombolysis has recently been licensed for use in acute cerebral infarction in Singapore, we studied 100 consecutive acute cerebral infarction admitted to the Singapore General Hospital for timing of hospital presentation, reasons associated with delay in presentation and hypothetical acceptance of intravenous thrombolysis. Results: Only 9% of patients presented to hospital within 2 hours of symptom onset. Factors associated with hospital presentation within 2 hours were a large stroke and lack of pre-hospital consultation. Failure to recognise the severity of symptoms and inability to seek medical attention unaided were the 2 most common reasons for delayed presentation. One-third of patients or their relatives hypothetically would accept intravenous thrombolysis, suggesting that a thrombolysis service is feasible at the Singapore General Hospital. However, it would be hindered by the low proportion of patients who present early to hospital after symptom onset. Conclusion: Our results support the need for a public education programme to highlight the identification of stroke symptoms and the need to present to hospital as soon as possible after the onset of stroke symptoms.


Intravenous thrombolysis in acute cerebral infarction has been proven to be efficacious in improving functional outcome if given within 3 hours from stroke onset.1 Singapore recently received national licensing for the use of intravenous thrombolysis for this indication. Delay in hospital presentation is an important hindrance to the administration of intravenous thrombolysis. Whilst there are several studies conducted in other countries investigating factors associated with delay in presentation after acute stroke,2-5 there has been no similar study carried out in Singapore.

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