Prehospital dispatch assessment of stroke
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.