FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The clocks will "fall back" on Sunday, November 4, and with the extra hour of sleep comes an increased risk of stroke.
Research shows that ischemic — or clot — stroke incidence increases for two days following the Daylight Saving Time transition, both in spring and in fall. The researchers believe the increased stroke risk is related to interrupted sleep patterns.
With this expected uptick in stroke cases from November 4 to 6, EMS should be ready to respond. However, unlike the trauma model, where the most severely injured patients are taken to a Level 1 trauma center, most states don't have protocols for EMS to triage and transport stroke patients. This could be a life-or-death decision for the patient, because millions of brain cells die each minute blood flow is denied to the brain.
The Get Ahead of Stroke campaign is working to ensure that EMS have the resources they need to assess stroke severity in the field and connect patients to appropriate care. It has developed a free mobile app that helps EMS assess stroke severity using common stroke scales. By measuring, for example, the patient's ability to squeeze and release a hand or make facial expressions, EMS can determine the best course of action for the patient. The campaign is also working in states across the country to update EMS protocols related to stroke care.
"The Stroke Scales for EMS app will help EMS assess stroke severity, and ultimately, guide patients experiencing a severe stroke to Level 1 stroke centers, which can provide neuroendovascular stroke surgery to remove clots 24/7/365," said Scott McDaniel, a paramedic and stroke survivor.
By changing the way stroke patients are triaged and transported — and ensuring EMS personnel have the tools they need to identify severe stroke — we can help these patients get to appropriate care right away.
"Severe stroke patients who receive appropriate care leave the hospital sooner and are twice as likely to be independent within 90 days," said Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) president Dr. Adam S. Arthur. "By assessing stroke severity in the field, EMS can make critical decisions that will greatly improve the odds of these patients, sometimes enabling them to talk and walk within a few days."
To speak with Dr. Arthur or Mr. McDaniel, please contact Sangeetha Sarma at [email protected].
About the Get Ahead of Stroke Campaign
Get Ahead of Stroke is a national public education and advocacy campaign designed to improve systems of care for stroke patients. An initiative of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS), the campaign's goal is to secure the best possible outcomes for stroke patients by driving policy change and public awareness nationwide. Visit www.getaheadofstroke.org to learn more.
CONTACT: Sangeetha Sarma
[email protected] or 202-248-5467
SOURCE Get Ahead of Stroke