Researchers examined the records of 5,300 patients who were brought to Loyola's emergency room by emergency medical services (EMS). Paramedics were able to identify stroke patients with a 99.3 percent specificity. (In diagnosing disease, a high specificity rate indicates there's a high probability the patient actually has the disease.)
"If a paramedic thinks a patient is having a stroke, that should be a reliable indicator that the hospital's stroke team should be activated," said Dr. Michael Schneck, a co-author of the study, which will be presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans.
Dr. Mark Cichon, who heads Loyola's emergency room and is another co-author, said the findings illustrate that paramedics "are very well trained in stroke recognition." He added that stroke is one of many emergency conditions in which paramedics are trained to initiate treatment before the patient arrives at the hospital.
Schneck is a professor in the departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and medical director of the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit. Cichon is a professor in the Department of Surgery and division director of Emergency Medical Services. Other co-authors are Elizabeth Wild (first author); Yongwoo Kim, MD; Alexander Venizelos, MD; and David Hyman.
Most strokes are caused by blood clots in the brain. If given promptly, the clot-busting drug tPA, in certain cases, can dissolve the clot and stop the stroke before it causes permanent damage. But before tPA is given, a patient must undergo a CT scan to confirm the stroke is caused by a clot. (About 15 percent of strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain; in such cases, administering tPA could make strokes worse.)
Since every minute counts, hospitals are striving to reduce the "door-to-needle" time -- the length of time it takes from when a stroke patient arrives at the emergency room door until the patient is given intravenous tPA. One way Loyola is cutting times is by having the ambulance radio ahead when it is bringing in an apparent stroke patient. Loyola's stroke team then is activated and ready to go into action as soon as the patient arrives, Cichon said.
While the EMS specificity rate in identifying strokes was 99.3 percent, the sensitivity rate was only 51 percent. In other words, when paramedics suspected patients were having strokes, they were probably correct -- but they also missed many cases. Of the 96 actual strokes, paramedics correctly identified 49 cases, but missed 47. Paramedics were most likely to miss strokes in patients younger than 45."Sensitivity of EMS impression of stroke still requires improvement to reduce time to treatment for acute stroke patients," researchers wrote.
Loyola provides evidence-based, specialized stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Loyola is certified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. It is staffed by board-certified vascular neurologists and a multidisciplinary stroke team.
For three years in a row, Loyola has won a Get with the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Jim Ritter | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering