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Prevalence and predictors of hospital prealerting in acute stroke: a mixed methods study.

Sheppard, J P and Lindenmeyer, Antje and Mellor, R M and Greenfield, Sheila and Mant, Jonathan and Quinn, Tom and Rosser, A and Sandler, David and Sims, D and Ward, M and McManus, R J (2016) Prevalence and predictors of hospital prealerting in acute stroke: a mixed methods study. Emergency medicine journal : EMJ, 33 (7). pp. 482-8. ISSN 1472-0213. This article is available to all HEFT staff and students via ASK HEFT Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c using their HEFT Athens Login.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://emj.bmj.com/content/33/7/482.long

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Thrombolysis can significantly reduce the burden of stroke but the time window for safe and effective treatment is short. In patients travelling to hospital via ambulance, the sending of a 'prealert' message can significantly improve the timeliness of treatment.

OBJECTIVE

Examine the prevalence of hospital prealerting, the extent to which prealert protocols are followed and what factors influence emergency medical services (EMS) staff's decision to send a prealert.

METHODS

Cohort study of patients admitted to two acute stroke units in West Midlands (UK) hospitals using linked data from hospital and EMS records. A logistic regression model examined the association between prealert eligibility and whether a prealert message was sent. In semistructured interviews, EMS staff were asked about their experiences of patients with suspected stroke.

RESULTS

Of the 539 patients eligible for this study, 271 (51%) were recruited. Of these, only 79 (29%) were eligible for prealerting according to criteria set out in local protocols but 143 (53%) were prealerted. Increasing number of Face, Arm, Speech Test symptoms (1 symptom, OR 6.14, 95% CI 2.06 to 18.30, p=0.001; 2 symptoms, OR 31.36, 95% CI 9.91 to 99.24, p<0.001; 3 symptoms, OR 75.84, 95% CI 24.68 to 233.03, p<0.001) and EMS contact within 5 h of symptom onset (OR 2.99, 95% CI 1.37 to 6.50 p=0.006) were key predictors of prealerting but eligibility for prealert as a whole was not (OR 1.92, 95% CI 0.85 to 4.34 p=0.12). In qualitative interviews, EMS staff displayed varying understanding of prealert protocols and described frustration when their interpretation of the prealert criteria was not shared by ED staff.

CONCLUSIONS

Up to half of the patients presenting with suspected stroke in this study were prealerted by EMS staff, regardless of eligibility, resulting in disagreements with ED staff during handover. Aligning the expectations of EMS and ED staff, perhaps through simplified prealert protocols, could be considered to facilitate more appropriate use of hospital prealerting in acute stroke.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available to all HEFT staff and students via ASK HEFT Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c using their HEFT Athens Login.
Subjects: WL Nervous system. Neurology
Divisions: Emergency Services > Elderly
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Miss Adele Creak
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 13:58
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 13:58
URI: http://www.repository.heartofengland.nhs.uk/id/eprint/1262

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