Abstract 3229: Criteria for Appropriate Utilization of Helicopter Interfacility Transfer of ICH Patients
Background: Many intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) patients are emergently transferred to tertiary neurosurgical centers by helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), yet no guidelines exist for HEMS use in acute ICH. The American Stroke Association (ASA) publishes guidelines for neurosurgical intervention in ICH patients. Additionally, high ICH scores have been shown to predict lethal ICHs. We hypothesized that an algorithm including ASA guideline criteria and ICH score would identify patients for whom HEMS transportation might be appropriate.
Objectives: To determine, in ICH patients transferred by HEMS, (1) the sensitivity of ASA guidelines for predicting emergent neurosurgical intervention, and (2) the ability of an ICH score ≥4 to predict early mortality and failure to receive intervention.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of ICH patients transported by HEMS to one tertiary care center between September 2008 and February 2011. We reviewed medical records and brain CTs from the hospital of first presentation to calculate ICH scores and to evaluate for the seven ASA guideline criteria: GCS score ≤8, herniation, intraventricular hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, brainstem compression, lobar clot >30 mL within 1 cm of the paranchymal surface, and cerebellar hemorrhage. We reviewed tertiary center records for neurosurgical interventions and in-hospital mortality.
Results: Review of 137 patient records identified 86 patients with an ICH and an available initial brain CT. All patients who received an emergent intervention met at least one of the criteria (sensitivity 100%), while 16 (18.6%) patients transferred by HEMS met no ASA criteria. No patient with an ICH score of ≥4 (n=19) received an emergent neurosurgical intervention, and only one such patient survived to hospital discharge. Comparison of this group to all others produced a hazard ratio of 5.86. Thirty-five (40.7%) patients had either no ASA criteria or an ICH score ≥4.
Conclusions: The ASA guidelines have high sensitivity for detecting those patients who will receive emergent neurosurgical intervention after transfer, while patients with ICH scores of ≥4 almost uniformly have lethal hemorrhages and do not undergo emergent intervention. An algorithm including the presence of at least one of the seven ASA ICH neurosurgical intervention criteria and an ICH score <4 can be used to screen for appropriate use of HEMS transport in acute ICH.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.