Prehospital time intervals and management of ischemic stroke patients

Publication Date


Journal Title

Am J Emerg Med


© 2020 Objective: Quantify prehospital time intervals, describe prehospital stroke management, and estimate potential time saved if certain procedures were performed en route to the emergency department (ED). Methods: Acute ischemic stroke patients who arrived via emergency medical services (EMS) between 2012 and 2016 were identified. We determined the following prehospital time intervals: chute, response, on-scene, transport, and total prehospital times. Proportions of patients receiving the following were determined: Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) assessment, prenotification, glucose assessment, vascular access, and 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG). For glucose assessment, ECG acquisition, and vascular access, the location (on-scene vs. en route) in which they were performed was described. Difference in on-scene times among patients who had these three interventions performed on-scene vs. en route was assessed. Results: Data from 870 patients were analyzed. Median total prehospital time was 39 min and comprised the following: chute time: 1 min; response time: 9 min; on-scene time: 15 min; and transport time: 14 min. CPSS was assessed in 64.7% of patients and prenotification was provided for 52.0% of patients. Glucose assessment, vascular access initiation, and ECG acquisition was performed on 84.1%, 72.6%, and 67.2% of patients, respectively. 59.0% of glucose assessments, 51.2% of vascular access initiations, and 49.8% of ECGs were performed on-scene. On-scene time was 9 min shorter among patients who had glucose assessments, vascular access initiations, and ECG acquisitions all performed en route vs. on-scene. Conclusions: On-scene time comprised 38.5% of total prehospital time. Limiting on-scene performance of glucose assessments, vascular access initiations, and ECG acquisitions may decrease prehospital time.

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Emergency Medicine





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