Background Delays to endovascular therapy (EVT) for stroke may be mitigated with direct field triage to EVT centers. We sought to compare times to treatment over a 5.5 year span between two adjacent states, one with field triage and one without, served by a single comprehensive stroke center (CSC).
Methods During the study period, one of the two states implemented severity-based triage for suspected emergent large vessel occlusion, while in the other state, patients were transported to the closest hospital regardless of severity. We compared times to treatment and clinical outcomes between these two states. We also performed a matched pairs analysis, matching on date treated and distance from field to CSC.
Results 639 patients met the inclusion criteria, 407 in State 1 (with field triage) and 232 in State 2 (without field triage). In State 1, scene to EVT decreased 6% (or 8.13 min, p=0.0004) every year but no decrease was observed for State 2 (<1%, p=0.94). Cumulatively over 5.5 years, there was a reduction of 43 min in time to EVT in State 1, but no change in State 2. Lower rates of disability were seen in State 1, both for the entire cohort (all OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.40, p=0.0032) and for those independent at baseline (1.36, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.59, p=0.0003).
Conclusions Comparing adjacent states over time, the implementation of severity-based field triage significantly reduced time to EVT.
Data availability statement
Data available upon reasonable request.
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Correction notice Since this paper was published, the surname Ouediat has been updated to Oueidat.
Contributors We certify that all co-authors provided: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work; the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND final approval of the version to be published; AND agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. MVJ (first author) is the guarantor of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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