National Practice Patterns of Obtaining Informed Consent for Stroke Thrombolysis

Mendelson, S. J.; Courtney, D. M.; Gordon, E. J.; Thomas, L. F.; Holl, J. L.; Prabhakaran, S.

Stroke. 2018 Feb 15; 49(3):765-767


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: No standard approach to obtaining informed consent for stroke thrombolysis with tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) currently exists. We aimed to assess current nationwide practice patterns of obtaining informed consent for tPA. METHODS: An online survey was developed and distributed by e-mail to clinicians involved in acute stroke care. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine independent factors contributing to always obtaining informed consent for tPA. RESULTS: Among 268 respondents, 36.7% reported always obtaining informed consent and 51.8% reported the informed consent process caused treatment delays. Being an emergency medicine physician (odds ratio, 5.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.9-11.5) and practicing at a nonacademic medical center (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-4.3) were independently associated with always requiring informed consent. The most commonly cited cause of delay was waiting for a patient's family to reach consensus about treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Most clinicians always or often require informed consent for stroke thrombolysis. Future research should focus on standardizing content and delivery of tPA information to reduce delays.

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