UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Does Language Preference Affect Acute Stroke Care?

Keywords: acute ischemic stroke, guideline, metric, English, non-English (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/9/2020 by WanTsu Wendy Chang, MD (Emailed: 12/10/2020) (Updated: 12/10/2020)
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  • Prior studies have shown that ethnic minorities have lower levels of stroke knowledge and lower penetrance of public health stroke education.
  • A recent study looked at whether patients’ language preference affects acute ischemic stroke care metrics.
    • 3190 stroke patients at an urban Comprehensive Stroke Center, where 300 (9.4%) had a non-English preferred language
    • They found no difference in:
      • Time from symptom discovery to ED arrival (128 min vs. 161 min for patients with English preferred language, p=0.68)
      • Arrival by EMS (65% vs. 61.3%, p=0.21)
      • Door-to-imaging time (55 min vs. 60 min, p=0.33)
      • Door-to-needle time for thrombolysis (51 min vs. 53 min, p=0.69)

Bottom Line: Patients' language preference does not appear to affect the efficiency of acute ischemic stroke care, especially at experienced high volume stroke centers. 


Zachrison KS, Natsui S, Luan Erfe BM, et al. Language preference does not influence stroke patients' symptom recognition or emergency care time metrics. Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Nov 2 [Online ahead of print]

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