COAST (Coordinating Options for Acute Stroke Therapy):

An Advance Directive for Stroke

 

Ilana Spokoyny, Lynette Cederquist, Brian Clay, and Brett C. Meyer

 

Background

      Stroke is a worldwide problem with a limited number of approved treatments. Obtaining informed consent for acute stroke therapy is complicated by the breadth of information that must be communicated in a short period of time, the hectic nature of the emergency environment, the possible lack of understanding by the patient and/or family, and the critically time-sensitive nature of treatment for stroke. Complicating matters even further, patients are often unable to consent for themselves, placing the burden on surrogates to infer patientsí wishes regarding treatment, and potentially limiting acute treatment by practitioners.

 

Innovation

      An advance directive for acute stroke therapy was created, entitled COAST (Coordinating Options for Acute Stroke Therapy). This clinical initiative is being piloted at a large comprehensive stroke center, including the development of the advance directive form, integration of the form with electronic medical records, training healthcare providers, and outreach to patients.

 

Conclusions

      COAST is an advance directive for stroke designed to make stroke care more efficient, optimize patientsí autonomy, improve the quality of healthcare, and streamline the ethical management of complex care decisions in acute stroke. The inherent benefit of COAST is in providing patients and their families with more information regarding stroke and its treatment options, allowing them to take a more active role in their care.

 

 

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