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Emergency Medical Services Providers’ Knowledge, Practices, And Barriers To Stroke Management

Authors Li T, Munder SP, Chaudhry A, Madan R, Gribko M, Arora R

Received 22 August 2019

Accepted for publication 23 October 2019

Published 15 November 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 297—303


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Timmy Li,1 Sneh Preet Munder,2 Anisha Chaudhry,2 Rima Madan,2 Michele Gribko,2 Rohan Arora3

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA; 2Department of Neurology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA; 3Department of Neurology, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA

Correspondence: Timmy Li
Department of Emergency Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, 300 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA
Tel +1 516 562 1513
Fax +1 516 562 3680

Purpose: Many strokes are not recognized by emergency medical services (EMS) providers and many providers do not prenotify emergency departments (EDs) of incoming stroke patients. The objectives of this project were to survey EMS providers to (1) assess knowledge of prehospital care related to stroke identification, time window for intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) administration, and comprehensive stroke centers in our health system, (2) gain insight from EMS providers regarding barriers to providing prenotification, information they provide for a prenotification, and optimal methods of providing feedback, and (3) provide EMS providers with stroke care and management information.
Methods: A survey was administered to EMS providers at four hospital EDs. The survey included questions related to knowledge of prehospital stroke care and barriers to providing prenotification. EMS providers were also provided a one-page flyer with information related to prehospital stroke care. Descriptive statistics were used to describe results.
Results: Of 301 EMS providers surveyed, 96.0% report that they use the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale to identify stroke, and 11.0% correctly identified the time window for IV tPA administration for acute ischemic stroke as within 4.5 hrs from the last known well time. The majority (82.7%) correctly identified the comprehensive stroke center in our health system. Barriers to providing prenotification included short transport time (40.5%), information being lost in dispatch (39.5%), and not having direct communication with ED staff (30.2%). Most reported wanting to receive feedback on the stroke patients they transported (93.7%), and 49.5% reported that the optimal method of providing feedback is via a mobile application.
Conclusion: Deficits in stroke care knowledge among EMS providers were identified. Short transport time, inability to communicate with ED staff, and information lost in dispatch were cited as barriers to providing prenotification. Most EMS providers desire real-time feedback regarding patients via a mobile application.

Keywords: emergency medical services, prehospital care, stroke, neurology

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