Prehospital dispatch assessment of stroke.
ABSTRACT This study is to determine the assessment accuracy for the diagnosis of stroke by EMS dispatchers and paramedics compared to emergency physicians (EPs). Of the 191 patients who met inclusion criteria, dispatchers assessed 133 as having a stroke; EPs agreed in 67 (50%) cases. Paramedics assessed 100 patients as having stroke; EPs agreed in 70 (70%) cases. Dispatcher and paramedic sensitivity for diagnosing stroke was 61% and 64%, respectively; specificity was 20% and 63% respectively. Sensitivity for the detection of acute stroke was nearly identical between EMS dispatchers and on-scene paramedics; overall agreement with emergency physician diagnosis was moderate.
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ABSTRACT: Significant advances in the early management of ischemic stroke have been made since the 1995 National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke data demonstrated the benefit of early intravenous administration of tissue plasminogen activator to select patients with acute ischemic stroke within a 3-hour onset window of suspected stroke symptoms. One concept in stroke care that has become better understood is the importance of time management and the ability to deliver patients with acute stroke to appropriate care as soon as possible. Minimizing delay to definitive therapy remains the current focus in the prehospital phase of stroke care.Emergency medicine clinics of North America 08/2012; 30(3):617-35. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emergency medical dispatchers represent the first line of communication with a patient, and their decision plays an important role in the prehospital care of stroke. We evaluated the rate and accuracy of stroke diagnosis by dispatchers and its influence in the prehospital care of potential stroke patients. We analyzed the 2009 National Emergency Medical Services Information System. Study population was based on the diagnosis of stroke made by emergency medical technicians (EMT). This was then divided in those coded as stroke/cerebrovascular accident versus others reported by dispatchers and compared with each other. In all, 67,844 cases were identified as stroke by EMT, but transportation time was available for 52,282 cases that represented the final cohort. Cases identified as stroke by dispatchers were 27,566 (52.7%). When this group compared with stroke cases not identified by dispatchers, we found that the mean age was significantly higher (71.2 versus 68.6 years, P < .0001); advanced life support was dispatched more frequently (84% versus 72.8%, P < .0001), dispatchers offered help and instructions to the caller more frequently, and they arrived at a facility at a shorter time (41.8 versus 49.8 minutes, P < 0001). Sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of stroke by dispatchers were 34.61 and 99.46, respectively. Recognition of symptoms and diagnosis of a potential stroke by dispatchers positively affect the care of patients by decreasing the arrival time to a hospital and providing the highest level of prehospital care possible. Education is needed to increase dispatcher's detection of stroke cases.Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of National Stroke Association 09/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Timely and appropriate hospital treatment of acute cerebrovascular diseases (stroke and Transient Ischemic Attacks - TIA) improves patient outcomes. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) dispatchers who can identify cerebrovascular disease symptoms during telephone requests for emergency service also contribute to these improved outcomes. The Italian Ministry of Health issued guidelines on the management of AC patients in pre-hospital emergency service, including Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) use.We measured the sensitivity and Positive Predictive Value (PPV) of EMS dispatchers' ability to recognize stroke/TIA symptoms and evaluated whether the CPSS improves accuracy. A cross-sectional multicentre study was conducted to collect data from 38 Italian emergency operative centres on all cases identified with stroke/TIA symptoms at the time of dispatch and all cases with stroke/TIA symptoms identified on the scene by the ambulance personnel from November 2010 to May 2011. The study included 21760 cases: 18231 with stroke/TIA symptoms at dispatch and 9791 with symptoms confirmed on the scene. The PPV of the dispatch stroke/TIA symptoms identification was 34.3% (95% CI 33.7-35.0; 6262/18231) and the sensitivity was 64.0% (95% CI 63.0-64.9; 6262/9791). Centres using CPSS more often (>10% of cases) had both higher PPV (56%; CI 95% 57--60 vs 18%; CI 95% 17--19) and higher sensitivity (71%; CI 95% 87--89 vs 52%; CI 95% 51--54).In the multivariate regression a centre's CPSS use was associated with PPV (beta 0.48 p = 0.014) and negatively associated with sensitivity (beta -0.36; p = 0.063); centre sensitivity was associated with CPSS (beta 0.32; p = 0.002), adjusting for PPV. Centres that use CPSS more frequently during phone dispatch showed greater agreement with on-the-scene prehospital assessments, both in correctly identifying more cases with stroke/TIA symptoms and in giving fewer false positives for non-stroke/TIA cases. Our study shows an extreme variability in the performance among OCs, highlighting that form many centres there is room for improvement in both sensitivity and positive predictive value of the dispatch. Our results should be used for benchmarking proposals in the effort to identify best practices across the country.BMC Health Services Research 12/2013; 13(1):513. · 1.77 Impact Factor