Improved Prehospital Triage of Patients With Stroke in a Specialized Stroke Ambulance
Results of the Pre-Hospital Acute Neurological Therapy and Optimization of Medical Care in Stroke Study
Background and Purpose—Specialized management of patients with stroke is not available in all hospitals. We evaluated whether prehospital management in the Stroke Emergency Mobile (STEMO) improves the triage of patients with stroke.
Methods—STEMO is an ambulance staffed with a specialized stroke team and equipped with a computed tomographic scanner and point-of-care laboratory. We compared the prehospital triage of patients with suspected stroke at dispatcher level who either received STEMO care or conventional care. We assessed transport destination in patients with different diagnoses. Status at hospital discharge was used as short-term outcome.
Results—From May 2011 to January 2013, 1804 of 6182 (29%) patients received STEMO care and 4378 of 6182 (71%) patients conventional care. Two hundred forty-five of 2110 (11.6%) patients with cerebrovascular events were sent to hospitals without Stroke Unit in conventional care when compared with 48 of 866 (5.5%; P<0.01%) patients in STEMO care. In patients with ischemic stroke, STEMO care reduced transport to hospitals without Stroke Unit from 10.1% (151 of 1497) to 3.9% (24 of 610; P<0.01). The delivery rate of patients with intracranial hemorrhage to hospitals without neurosurgery department was 43.0% (65 of 151) in conventional care and 11.3% (7 of 62) in STEMO care (P<0.01). There was a slight trend toward higher rates of patients discharged home in neurological patients when cared by STEMO (63.5% versus 60.8%; P=0.096).
Conclusions—The triage of patients with cerebrovascular events to specialized hospitals can be improved by STEMO ambulances.
- Received November 16, 2014.
- Revision received November 16, 2014.
- Accepted December 10, 2014.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.