Background and purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate time delays, adherence to guidelines, and their impact on outcomes in patients with warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage transferred from community emergency departments to a comprehensive stroke center.
Methods: We collected demographic, clinical, transfer time, treatment, and outcome data for patients transferred to our institution with warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage from community emergency departments.
Results: Among 928 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage, 56 (6%) with warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (median international normalized ratio, 2.55) were transferred to the comprehensive stroke center. Twenty patients received no acute reversal therapy before transfer, only 4 of whom had international normalized ratios ≤1.4 in the community emergency department. Median time of emergency department stay was 3.66 hours and median time to initiation of acute reversal therapy was 4.48 hours. Those who received ≥3 U of fresh-frozen plasma or recombinant activated Factor VIIa (11 patients) before transfer had lower repeat international normalized ratios and better discharge dispositions than those treated less aggressively.
Conclusions: Treatment of warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage in community emergency departments is often suboptimal and does not adhere to published guidelines. Treating coagulopathy aggressively before interhospital transfer may improve outcomes and warrants further investigation.