Background and Purpose: There is evidence that high-volume hospitals may produce better patient outcomes. We aimed to identify whether there were any associations between hospital thrombolysis volume and speed of thrombolysis (tissuetype plasminogen activator [tPA]) administration in patients with ischemic stroke. Methods: Data were drawn from 2 national clinical audits in England: the Stroke Improvement National Audit Program and the 2012 Sentinel Stroke Audit. Hospitals were categorized into 3 groups based on the annualized volume of thrombolysis: 0 to 24, 25 to 49, and ≥50 cases per annum. Arrival-brain scan, onset-tPA, and arrival-tPA times were compared across groups and stratified by onset-arrival time. Multilevel logistic models were used to estimate the odds of receiving tPA within 60 minutes of arrival. Results: Of the 42 024 patients with acute ischemic stroke admitted to 80 hospitals, 4347 received tPA (10.3%). Patients admitted to hospitals with an annual thrombolysis volume of ≥50 cases per annum had median arrival-tPA times that were 28 and 22 minutes shorter than patients admitted to hospitals with volumes of 0 to 24 and 25 to 49, respectively. Onset-tPA times were shorter by 24 to 32 minutes across strata of onset-arrival times. In multivariable analysis, patients admitted to hospitals with a volume of ≥50 cases per annum had 4.33 (2.21-8.50; P<0.0001) the odds of receiving tPA within 60 minutes of arrival. No differences in safety outcomes were observed, with similar 30-day mortality and complication rates across the groups. Conclusions: Hospitals with higher volumes of thrombolysis activity achieve statistically and clinically significant shorter delays in administering tPA to patients after arrival in hospital.
- Thrombolytic therapy