One-third of Americans live too far from stroke care centers

Even under optimal conditions, it would take one in three Americans more than an hour to obtain treatment at the nearest comprehensive stroke center (CSC), according to a recent study published in Neurology. The location of a CSC is vital to ensure quick access to acute stroke therapies. In 2010 there were 811 Joint Commission-certified primary stroke centers (PSCs) in the United States and no CSCs. The study used a virtual trial to selectively convert up to 20 PSCs per state to CSCs. After adding the CSCs, 63.1 percent of Americans had 60-minute ground access and 86 percent ground/air access. Ground access to CSCs was lower in 10 Southeast states and Indiana, known as the Stroke Belt, and in states without emergency medical service routing policies. Study abstract