The management of acute ischemic stroke has been recognized as a significant medical problem. Stroke remains to be the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability; 80% of all strokes are ischemic (a blood clot disrupts blood flow), and the rest are hemorrhagic (a blood vessel ruptures in the brain). Nearly 1 in 15 deaths in 2003 were the result of a stroke.1 Approximately 750,000 new strokes occur annually, of which 250,000 result in the deaths in the United States alone. The latest estimates for stroke costs total to about $30 billion in direct costs, and $20 billion are in indirect costs.2 If nothing is done about this disease, the annual incidence of strokes is expected to reach 1.1 million by the year 2015.
Pineda MD, Carissa C. and Birch RN, BSN, Jeanne
"Primary Stroke Centers: Their Role and Impact on Acute Stroke Management,"
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jhnj/vol4/iss1/4