July 22, 2019
Interhospital Transportation Methods for Stroke Patients Compared in Study
July 23, 2019—The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) announced the presentation of a study, "An Analysis of Stroke Thrombectomy Interhospital Transportation Modality," at the SNIS 16th annual meeting held July 22–25 in Miami Beach, Florida. The study aimed to determine if ground or air ambulance transportation methods allowed a patient to access thrombectomy the fastest. SNIS stated that the study shows that using emergency helicopter ambulance services to transfer a patient to a hospital that can perform a stroke thrombectomy ensures faster access to potentially life-saving care.
As reported by SNIS, investigators analyzed 133 patients who were transferred to a comprehensive stroke center for thrombectomy between January 2015 and March 2018. Patients who were transported by helicopter to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, had a significantly shorter time to surgery start. Furthermore, air transport reduced time more as distances between hospitals increased, getting patients to surgery on average 42 minutes faster when transported more than 30 miles. However, all transport of < 10 miles was done by ground ambulance.
Study investigators Hormuzdiyar Dasenbrock, MD, from Rush University Medical Center, commented in the SNIS announcement, “We know that when a patient can receive earlier appropriate stroke care, they experience better outcomes. We should consider this study as evidence that transferring a patient by helicopter ambulance to a hospital that can perform a thrombectomy will likely provide the patient with the best chance of recovering from a major stroke. However, patient safety is the first concern, and sometimes air transport cannot be used due to weather; also, air transport may not be faster if the distance between hospitals is less than 10 miles.”
According to SNIS, this research reinforces a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention that found that patients experienced decreased time and better access to receiving intravenous thrombolytics when they were transported via air to an appropriate facility, and extends these findings to patients undergoing thrombectomy.