FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Severe stroke patients who are assessed properly by EMS and transported directly to the appropriate stroke center have significantly better outcomes than patients who are not, according to preliminary findings from a study led by Drs. Ryan McTaggart and Mahesh Jayaraman, of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.
The new study, released at the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, shows that 65 percent of stroke patients with an emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) who were taken directly to a comprehensive (or Level 1) stroke center had favorable outcomes. By contrast, just 42 percent of similar patients who were taken to the nearest hospital (or primary stroke center) had favorable outcomes. The study also found that stroke patients received care faster at the comprehensive stroke center than in primary stroke centers, even when transport to the comprehensive stroke center required additional drive time.
"These preliminary findings show that when first responders identify severe stroke patients in the field and transport them directly to hospitals that are best-equipped to provide treatment, more patients can walk away from stroke without long-term disability," said Dr. Mahesh Jayaraman, an author of the study who is also a neurointerventionalist at Rhode Island Hospital and a member of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's board of directors.
Starting in 2015, Rhode Island began updating its EMS protocols to empower first responders to assess stroke severity in the field and transport patients suspected of ELVO directly to a comprehensive stroke center if the patient is within 30 minutes of the center. These changes were implemented in early 2017. The Get Ahead of Stroke campaign is working in several other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia, to update EMS protocols and improve stroke care systems so that more patients can survive stroke.
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 and follow @SurviveStroke on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Get Ahead of Stroke