What factors contribute towards ambulance on-scene times for suspected stroke patients? An observational study

Graham McClelland*, Emma Burrow, Abi Alton, Lisa Shaw, Tracy Finch, Chris Price

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction: Pre-hospital stroke care focusses on rapid access to specialist stroke units, but UK ambulance data shows increasing pre-hospital times. This study aimed to describe factors contributing towards ambulance on-scene times (OST) for suspected stroke patients and identify targets for a future intervention. Patients and methods: Ambulance clinicians in North East Ambulance Service were asked to complete a survey after transporting any suspected stroke patients to describe the patient encounter, interventions and timings. Completed surveys were linked with electronic patient care records. Potentially modifiable factors were identified by the study team. Poisson regression analysis quantified the association of selected potentially modifiable factors with OST. Results: About 2037 suspected stroke patients were conveyed between July and December 2021, resulting in 581 fully completed surveys by 359 different clinicians. The median age of patients was 75 years (interquartile range (IQR) 66–83) and 52% of patients were male. Median OST was 33 min (IQR 26–41). Three potentially modifiable factors were identified as contributors to extended OST. Performing additional advanced neurological assessments added 10% to OST (34 vs 31 min, p = 0.008); intravenous cannulation added 13% (35 vs 31 min, p = <0.001) and ECGs added 22% (35 vs 28 min, p = <0.001). Conclusions: This study identified three potentially modifiable factors that increased pre-hospital OST with suspected stroke patients. This type of data can be used to target interventions at behaviours that extend pre-hospital OST but which have questionable patient benefit. This approach will be evaluated in a follow up study in the North East of England.

Original languageEnglish
Article number239698732311632
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Stroke Journal
Issue number2
Early online date16 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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