• Ambulance documentation of stroke symptoms during the UK COVID-19 ‘Stay at Home’ message

      McClelland, Graham; Wilson, Nina; Shaw, Lisa; Grayling, Michael; Haworth, Daniel; Price, Christopher (2020-11-16)
      On 23 March 2020 the UK government urged the public to ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ in order to reduce consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Three large National Health Service (NHS) stroke units subsequently reported a 16% (95% CI 27.2 to 3.2) decrease in the weekly trend for stroke admissions during March–April compared with January–February 2020. https://emj.bmj.com/content/early/2020/11/16/emermed-2020-210319 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-210319
    • Call to hospital times for suspected stroke patients in the North East of England: a service evaluation

      Haworth, Daniel; McClelland, Graham (2019-09-01)
      Introduction: Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. The role of the ambulance service in acute stroke care focuses on recognition followed by rapid transport to specialist care. The treatment options for acute ischaemic strokes are time dependent, so minimising the prehospital phase of care is important. The aim of this service evaluation was to report historical pre-hospital times for suspected stroke patients transported by the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) and identify areas for improvement. Methods: This was a retrospective service evaluation using routinely collected data. Data on overall call to hospital times, call to arrival times, on scene times and leave scene to hospital are reported. Results: Data on 24,070 patients with an impression of stroke transported by NEAS between 1 April 2011 and 31 May 2018 are reported. The median call to hospital time increased from 41 to 68 minutes, call to arrival from 7 to 17 minutes, on scene from 20 to 30 minutes and leave to hospital from 12 to 15 minutes. Conclusion: The pre-hospital call to hospital time for stroke patients increased between 2011 and 2018. The call to arrival phase saw a sharp increase between 2015 and 2017, whereas on scene and leave scene to hospital saw steadier increases. Increasing demand on the ambulance service, reorganisation of regional stroke services and other factors may have contributed to the increase in times. Reducing the on scene phase of pre-hospital stroke care would lead to patient benefits and is the area where ambulance clinicians have the most influence. Abstract published with permission.
    • Characteristics of patients according to the mode of admission to regional stroke services

      Price, Christopher; Rae, V.; Duckett, Jay; Wood, R.; McMeekin, Peter; Gray, J.; Rodgers, Helen; Ford, Gary A. (2012-12)
    • The clinical characteristics of false negative stroke patients: a systematic review

      Jones, S.; Price, Christopher; McClelland, Graham; Gibson, J.; Watkins, C. (2019-05-22)
    • Development and validation of a pragmatic prehospital tool to identify stroke mimic patients

      McClelland, Graham; Rodgers, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Price, Christopher (2018-04)
      Aim Stroke mimics (SM) are non-stroke conditions producing stroke-like symptoms. Prehospital stroke identification tools prioritise sensitivity over specificity.1 It is estimated that >25% of prehospital suspected stroke patients are SM.2 Failure to identify SM creates inefficient use of ambulances and specialist stroke services. We developed a pragmatic tool to identify SM amongst suspected prehospital stroke patients. Method The tool was developed using regression analysis of clinical variables documented in ambulance records of suspected stroke patients linked to primary hospital diagnoses (derivation dataset, n=1,650, 40% SM).3 It was refined using feedback from paramedics (n=3) and hospital clinicians (n=9), and analysis of an expanded prehospital derivation dataset (n=3,797, 41% SM (original 1650 patients included)). Results The STEAM tool combines six variables: 1 point for Systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg; 1 point for Temperature >38.5°C with Abstracts A2 BMJ Open 2018;8(Suppl 1):A1–A34 (NHS). Protected by copyright. on 14 August 2019 at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust http://bmjopen.bmj.com/ BMJ Open: first published as 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.6 on 16 April 2018. Downloaded from heart rate >90 bpm; 1 point for seizures or 2 points for seizures with known diagnosis of Epilepsy; 1 point for Age <40 years or 2 points for age <30 years; 1 point for headache with known diagnosis of Migraine; 1 point for FAST-ve. A score of 2 on STEAM predicted SM diagnosis in the derivation dataset with 5.5% sensitivity, 99.6% specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of 91.4%. External validation (n=1,848, 33% SM) showed 5.5% sensitivity, 99.4% specificity and a PPV of 82.5%. Conclusion STEAM uses common clinical characteristics to identify SM patients with high certainty. The benefits of using STEAM to reduce SM admissions to stroke services need to be weighed up against delayed admissions for stroke patients wrongly identified as SM. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/Suppl_1/A2.3 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-EMS.6
    • Development of a prehospital assessment to identify stroke mimic conditions

      McClelland, Graham; Rodgers, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Price, Christopher (2017-10)
      Background Despite routine use of pre-hospital identification instruments, approximately 30% of suspected stroke admissions are stroke mimics (SM). Early identification may allow “false positive” SM patients to be directed to appropriate care and improve healthcare resource utilisation. Methods A retrospective database of ambulance records containing a paramedic impression of stroke was linked to hospital specialist diagnosis data from 01/06/13 to 31/05/16. Logistic regression identified clinical features predictive of SM. An assessment score was constructed prioritising specificity over sensitivity. Results 1650 patients (mean age 75.3, 47% male, 40% SM) were included. 1520 (92%) were Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) positive. Table 1 describes the characteristics in the SM assessment. Each characteristic scores 1 point if present. Table 1 Stroke mimic characteristics 86% (66/77) of suspected stroke patients scoring 1 were SM. 100% (6/6) of patients scoring >1 characteristic were SM. A score ≥1 identified SM with 11% (95% CI, 8–13) sensitivity, 99% (95% CI, 98–99) specificity, positive predictive value of 87% (95% CI, 79–94), negative predictive value of 62% (95% CI, 60–64) and a diagnostic odds ratio of 11 (95% CI, 6–20, p<0.0001). Conclusions Amongst ambulance patients with suspected stroke, a small number of SM can be identified with a high degree of certainty. This simple tool needs further validation, prospective testing in the pre-hospital environment with characteristics systematically recorded and consideration of potential clinical impact. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e5.1 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207114.14
    • Development of a prehospital stroke mimic identification tool: a focus group study with healthcare professionals

      McClelland, Graham; Flynn, Darren; Rodgers, Helen; Price, Christopher (2017-11)
    • Effect of an Enhanced Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment on Thrombolysis Delivery During Emergency Stroke Care: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial

      Price, Christopher; Shaw, Lisa; Islam, Saiful; Javanbakht, Mehdi; Watkins, Alan; McMeakin, Peter; Snooks, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Francis, Richard; Lakey, Rachel; et al. (2020-07)
    • Effect of an Enhanced Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment on Thrombolysis Delivery During Emergency Stroke Care: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial

      Price, Christopher; Shaw, L.; Islam, Saiful; Javanbakht, Mehdi; Watkins, Alan; McKeekin, Peter; Snooks, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Francis, Richard; Lakey, Rachel; et al. (2020-04-13)
    • The frequency, characteristics and aetiology of stroke mimic presentations: a narrative review

      McClelland, Graham; Rodgers, Helen; Flynn, Darren; Price, Christopher (2019-02)
    • Modeling outcomes following redirection of emergency stroke admissions from ten local stroke units to two neuroscience centres

      McMeekin, Peter; Gray, J.; Price, Christopher; Rae, Victoria; Duckett, Jay; Wood, R.; Rodgers, H.; Ford, A. (2012-12-06)
    • An observational study of patient characteristics associated with the mode of admission to acute stroke services in North East, England

      Price, Christopher; Rae, Victoria; Duckett, Jay; Wood, Ruth; Gray, Joanne; McMeekin, Peter; Rodgers, Helen; Portas, Karen; Ford, Gary A. (2013-10)
    • Paramedic acute stroke treatment assessment (PASTA): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

      Price, Christopher; Shaw, Lisa; Dodd, Peter; Exley, Catherine; Flynn, Darren; Francis, Richard; Islam, Saiful; Javanbakht, Mehdi; Lakey, Rachel; Lally, Joanne; et al. (2019-02)
    • Paramedic consent in the Paramedic Initiated Lisinopril for Acute Stroke Treatment (PIL-FAST) pilot trial

      Shaw, Lisa; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Younger, Paul; Ford, Gary A. (2013-05)
    • Paramedic experiences of using an enhanced stroke assessment during a cluster randomised trial: a qualitative thematic analysis

      Lally, Joanne; Vaittinen, Anu; McClelland, Graham; Price, Christopher; Shaw, Lisa; Ford, Gary A.; Flynn, Darren; Exley, Catherine (2020-06-16)
      Background Intravenous thrombolysis is a key element of emergency treatment for acute ischaemic stroke, but hospital service delivery is variable. The Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA) multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial evaluated whether an enhanced paramedic-initiated stroke assessment pathway could improve thrombolysis volume. This paper reports the findings of a parallel process evaluation which explored intervention paramedics’ experience of delivering the enhanced assessment. Methods Interviewees were recruited from 453 trained intervention paramedics across three UK ambulance services hosting the trial: North East, North West and Welsh Ambulance Services. A semistructured interview guide aimed to (1) explore the stroke-specific assessment and handover procedures which were part of the PASTA pathway and (2) enable paramedics to share relevant views about expanding their role and any barriers/enablers they encountered. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed following the principles of the constant comparative method. Results Twenty-six interviews were conducted (11 North East, 10 North West and 5 Wales). Iterative data analysis identified four key themes, which reflected paramedics’ experiences at different stages of the care pathway: (1) Enhanced assessment at scene: paramedics felt this improved their skillset and confidence. (2) Prealert to hospital: a mixed experience dependent on receiving hospital staff. (3) Handover to hospital team: standardisation of format was viewed as the primary benefit of the PASTA pathway. (4) Assisting in hospital and feedback: due to professional boundaries, paramedics found these aspects harder to achieve, although feedback from the clinical team was valued when available. Conclusion Paramedics believed that the PASTA pathway enhanced their skills and the emergency care of stroke patients, but a continuing clinical role postadmission was challenging. Future studies should consider whether interdisciplinary training is needed to enable more radical extension of professional boundaries for paramedics. https://emj.bmj.com/content/early/2020/06/16/emermed-2019-209392. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-209392
    • Paramedic experiences of using an enhanced stroke assessment during a cluster randomised trial: a qualitative thematic analysis

      Lally, Joanne; Vaittinen, Anu; McClelland, Graham; Price, Christopher; Shaw, Lisa; Ford, Gary A.; Flynn, Darren; Exley, Catherine (2020-06-16)
      Intravenous thrombolysis is a key element of emergency treatment for acute ischaemic stroke, but hospital service delivery is variable. The Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment (PASTA) multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial evaluated whether an enhanced paramedic-initiated stroke assessment pathway could improve thrombolysis volume. This paper reports the findings of a parallel process evaluation which explored intervention paramedics' experience of delivering the enhanced assessment. https://emj.bmj.com/content/37/8/480. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
    • Paramedic Initiated Lisinopril For Acute Stroke Treatment (PIL-FAST): first results from the pilot randomised controlled trial

      Shaw, L.; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Ford, Gary A. (2012-12)
    • Paramedic initiated Lisinopril for acute stroke treatment (PIL-FAST): results from the pilot randomised controlled trial

      Shaw, Lisa; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Younger, Paul; Ford, Gary A. (2014-12)
      Background High blood pressure (BP) during acute stroke is associated with poorer stroke outcome. Trials of treatments to lower BP have not resulted in improved outcome, but this may be because treatment commenced too late. Emergency medical service staff (paramedics) are uniquely placed to administer early treatment; however, experience of prehospital randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is very limited. Methods We conducted a pilot RCT to determine the feasibility of a definitive prehospital BP-lowering RCT in acute stroke. Paramedics were trained to identify, consent and deliver a first dose of lisinopril or placebo to adults with suspected stroke and hypertension while responding to the emergency call. Further treatment continued in hospital. Study eligibility, recruitment rate, completeness of receipt of study medication and clinical data (eg, BP) were collected to inform the design of a definitive RCT. Results In 14 months, 14 participants (median age=73 years, median National Institute of Health Stroke Scale=4) were recruited and received the prehospital dose of medication. Median time from stroke onset (as assessed by paramedic) to treatment was 70 min. Four participants completed 7 days of study treatment. Of ambulance transported suspected stroke patients, 1% were both study eligible and attended by a PIL-FAST paramedic. Conclusions It is possible to conduct a paramedic initiated double-blind RCT of a treatment for acute stroke. However, to perform a definitive RCT in a reasonable timescale, a large number of trained paramedics across several ambulance services would be needed to recruit the number of patients likely to be required. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/31/12/994.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2013-202536
    • Paramedic Initiated Lisinopril For Acute Stroke Treatment (PIL-FAST): study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

      Shaw, Lisa; Price, Christopher; McLure, Sally; Howel, Denise; McColl, Elaine; Ford, Gary A. (2011-06)
    • Paramedic training by online video increases the availability of information for hyperacute stroke treatment decisions

      Rudd, M.; Ford, Gary A.; Flynn, Darren; McClelland, Graham; Price, Christopher (2015-12)