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Acta Neurol Scand. 2009 Oct;120(4):270-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01162.x. Epub 2009 May 13.

Thrombolytic treatment for stroke in the Scandinavian countries.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



We wanted to describe the use of thrombolytic treatment for stroke in Scandinavia, to assess stroke doctors' opinions on this treatment, to identify barriers against treatment, and to suggest improvements to overcome these barriers.


We sent questionnaires to 493 Scandinavian doctors, who were involved in acute stroke care.


We received 453 (92%) completed questionnaires. Overall, 1.9% (range per hospital 0-13.9%) of patients received thrombolytic treatment. A majority (94%) of the respondents was convinced of the beneficial effects of thrombolytic treatment and many (85%) felt that its risks were acceptable. Main barriers were: unawareness of stroke symptoms among patients (82%) and their failure to respond adequately (54%); ambulance services not triaging acute stroke as urgent (23%); and insufficient in-hospital routines (15%). The respondents suggested that the following measures should be prioritized to increase the treatment's use: educational programmes to improve public awareness on stroke and how to respond (96%); education of in-hospital (88%) and prehospital (76%) medical staff.


A large majority of Scandinavian doctors regard thrombolytic treatment for stroke as beneficial, yet its implementation in clinical practice has so far been poor. Our survey identified important barriers and potential measures that could increase its future use.

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