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[Optimized logistics in the prehospital management of acute stroke].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Anästhesiologie und Operative Intensivmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Mannheim.



Current management of acute stroke is characterised by an aggressive approach including specific therapy i. e. reperfusion therapy. However currently stroke patients often arrive too late in hospitals offering adequate treatment. Therefore optimized logistics play a predominant role in modern stroke management.


1. Does teaching of EMS staff and the public result in reduced prehospital latencies 2. Will EMS personnel be able to effectively screen patients potentially suitable for thrombolysis?


During a six week-period all EMS patients presenting with possible signs of an acute stroke were prospectively registered (period 1). Data of interest were age, mode of primary contact, prehospital latencies, mode of transportation, destination and final diagnosis. Next an algorithm was established allowing EMS personnel to transfer patients with an assumed stroke to the best suitable hospital. Teaching comprised clinical signs, indication of CT scanning, pathophysiology, specific therapeutic options (thrombolysis), and criteria to identify patients suitable for thrombolysis. In a second step the public was continuously taught about stroke symptoms and the necessity to instantly seek EMS assistance. After 12 months data were compared to baseline (period 2).


(period 2 vs. Period 1): Rate of patients transferred to a stroke center: 60 % vs. 54 %; rate of those transported to hospitals not offering CT scans: 17 % vs. 26 % (p < 0.05). Percentage of patients primarily contacting the EMS system: 33 % vs. 24 %. Median interval between onset of symptoms and emergency call: 54 vs. 263 minutes Median interval between the emergency call and arrival at the emergency department: 44 vs. 58 minutes (p < 0.01). Rate of patients admitted with a diagnosis other than stroke: 18 % vs. 25 % (n. s.). Median interval between onset of symptoms and hospital admission: 140 vs. 368 minutes (p < 0.001). Median age: 69 vs. 75 years (p < 0.01).


This study demonstrates the efficacy of educational efforts in reducing latencies and in screening patients potentially suitable for thrombolysis. Future efforts will comprise more intense education of a high risk subpopulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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