Safety of a "drip and ship" intravenous thrombolysis protocol for patients with acute ischemic stroke

Simin Mansoor, Ramin Zand, Ameer Al-Wafai, Mervat N. Wahba, Elias A. Giraldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The "drip and ship" approach for intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is becoming the standard of care for patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in communities without direct access to a stroke specialist. We aimed to demonstrate the safety of our "drip and ship" IVT protocol. Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients with AIS treated with IVT between January 2003 and January 2011. Information on patients' baseline characteristics, neuroimaging, symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH), and mortality was obtained from our stroke registry. A group of patients were treated with IVT by an emergency physician in phone consultation with a board-certified vascular neurologist (BCVN) at 1 of our 3 stroke network-affiliated hospitals (SNAHs). These patients were subsequently transferred to our Joint Commission-certified primary stroke center (CPSC) after completion of IVT ("drip and ship" protocol). The other patients were treated directly by a BCVN at the CPSC. Results: We studied 201 patients treated with IVT. Of them, 14% received IVT at a SNAH ("drip and ship" protocol) and 86% were treated at the CPSC. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to age, National Institutes of Health Stoke Scale score, stroke symptom onset-to-needle time, sICH, or in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: Our "drip and ship" protocol for IVT is safe. The protocol was not associated with an excess of sICH or in-hospital mortality compared with patients who received IVT at the CPSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-971
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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