Ischemic Stroke Guidelines released at the end of January 2013.
These guidelines were put together by an expert panel and touch on many aspects of acute stroke care, with a focus on ischemic stroke. The guidelines include dozens of recommendations. I am not going to talk about all of them today, but I would like to highlight some that are particularly important to treating clinicians.
First, the guidelines come out very strongly in favor of transporting patients with acute stroke to the nearest primary or comprehensive stroke center. This is a great idea because we know from numerous studies and analyses that care at these certified stroke centers really does make a difference in terms of improving outcomes and reducing complications. That is a very strong positive recommendation. In addition, the guidelines now say that these stroke centers should be certified by an independent body or agency, so we are moving away from the paradigm of self-certification [toward independent, objective certification], which is also a positive move.