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J Clin Neurol. 2010 Sep;6(3):138-42. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2010.6.3.138. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Prehospital notification from the emergency medical service reduces the transfer and intra-hospital processing times for acute stroke patients.

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1
Busan-Ulsan Regional Cardio-Cerebral Vascular Center, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

There is little information available about the effects of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) hospital notification on transfer and intrahospital processing times in cases of acute ischemic stroke.

METHODS:

This study retrospectively investigated the real transfer and imaging processing times for cases of suspected acute stroke (AS) with EMS notification of a requirement for intravenous (IV) tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and for cases without notification. Also we compared the intra-hospital processing times for receiving t-PA between patients with and without EMS prehospital notification.

RESULTS:

Between December 2008 and August 2009, the EMS transported 102 patients with suspected AS to our stroke center. During the same period, 33 patients received IV t-PA without prehospital notification from the EMS. The mean real transfer time after the EMS call was 56.0±32.0 min. Patients with a transfer distance of more than 40 km could not be transported to our center within 60 min. Among the 102 patients, 55 were transferred via the EMS to our emergency room for IV t-PA. The positive predictive value for stroke (90.9% vs. 68.1%, p=0.005) was much higher and the real transfer time was much faster in patients with an EMS t-PA call (47.7±23.1 min, p=0.004) than in those without one (56.3±32.4 min). The door-to-imaging time (17.8±11.0 min vs. 26.9±11.5 min, p=0.01) and door-to-needle time (29.7±9.6 min vs. 42.1±18.1 min, p=0.01) were significantly shorter in the 18 patients for whom there was prehospital notification and who ultimately received t-PA than in those for whom there was no prehospital notification.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results indicate that prehospital notification could enable the rapid dispatch of AS patients needing IV t-PA to a stroke centre. In addition, it could reduce intrahospital delays, particularly, imaging processing times.

KEYWORDS:

prehospital notification; stroke; stroke care system; thrombolysis

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