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A multicentre observational study of presentation and early assessment of acute stroke

Harraf, F; Sharma, AK; Brown, MM; Lees, KR; Vass, RI; Kalra, L; Acute Stroke Intervention Study Gr, ; (2002) A multicentre observational study of presentation and early assessment of acute stroke. BRIT MED J , 325 (7354) 17 - 20. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective To investigate delays in the presentation to hospital and evaluation of patients with suspected stroke.Design Multicentre prospective observational study.Setting 22 hospitals in the United Kingdom and Dublin.Participants 739 patients with suspected stroke presenting to hospital.Main outcome measures Time from onset of stroke symptoms to arrival at hospital, and time from arrival to evaluation by a senior doctor.Results The median age of patients was 75 years, and 400 were women. The median delay between onset of symptoms and arrival at hospital was 6 hours (interquartile range 1 hour 48 minutes to 19 hours 12 minutes). 37% of patients arrived within 3 hours, 50% within 6 hours. The median delay for patients using the emergency service was 2 hours 3 minutes (47 minutes to 7 hours 12 minutes) compared with 7 hours 12 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes to 20 hours 37 minutes) for referrals from general practitioners (P < 0.0001). Use of emergency services reduced delays to hospital (odds ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval 0.23 to 0.61). The median titre to evaluation by a senior doctor was 1 hour 9 minutes (interquartile range 33 minutes to 1 flour 50 minutes) but was undertaken in only 477 (65%) patients within 3 hours of arrival. This was not influenced by age, sex, time of presentation, mode of referral, hospital type, or the presence of a stroke unit. Computed tomography was requested within 3 hours of arrival in 166 (22%) patients but undertaken in only 60 (8%).Conclusion Delays in patients arriving at hospital with suspected stroke can be reduced by the increased use of emergency services. Over a third of patients arrive at hospital within three hours of stroke; their management can be improved by expediting medical evaluation and performing computed tomography early.

Type: Article
Title: A multicentre observational study of presentation and early assessment of acute stroke
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: IN-HOSPITAL DELAYS, HEALTH-CARE DASH, EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENT, ADMISSION, SYMPTOMS, DISEASE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7225
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