Background Outcomes of endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke depend on the time interval from onset to reperfusion. Although the centralized ‘mothership’ method is considered preferable, the required transportation time increases the risk that a patient with a stroke may not receive intravenous or endovascular therapy. In contrast, ‘drive and retrieve’ describes a system wherein doctors from comprehensive stroke centers travel to primary stroke centers and provide endovascular treatment for acute ischemic stroke.
Objective To describe the drive and retrieve system and verify the effects of this new collaboration on outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke among facilities.
Methods This non-randomized, single-arm study retrospectively analyzed patients who met the inclusion criteria for endovascular treatment provided through a drive and retrieve system. Among the 122 patients treated by this system, we analyzed the time of onset to recanalization as the primary outcome. We also analyzed the efficacy of the drive and retrieve system using geographic information system analysis.
Results The median time from onset to recanalization was 229 min (IQR 170–307 min, 95% CI 201 to 252 min). The upper limit of the 95% CI for the time from onset to recanalization was shorter than the median times reported in two previous trials. Geographic information system analysis revealed an upward trend in the population coverage rate in each secondary medical area after the drive and retrieve method was introduced.
Conclusion The drive and retrieve method may be an effective form of cooperation between facilities located within 1 hour of a comprehensive stroke center.
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