open access

Vol 6, No 2 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-05-31
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Profile of practices and knowledge on stroke among Polish emergency medical service staff

Natasza Blek, Lukasz Szarpak
DOI: 10.5603/DEMJ.a2021.0009
·
Disaster Emerg Med J 2021;6(2):55-62.

open access

Vol 6, No 2 (2021)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2021-05-31

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death in both developed and developing countries. While hemorrhagic stroke often necessitates immediate neurosurgical intervention, ischemic stroke is treated with reperfusion therapies such as thrombolysis with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) and early endovascular thrombectomy for broad vessel occlusions.   OBJECTIVES: Early diagnoses, accurate emergency medical services (EMS) dispatch, rapid EMS transfer, and stroke team activation have helped reduce door-to-IV tPA time and continue to be critical in saving time for stroke patients’ treatment.   MATERIAL AND METHODS: One reason for prehospital delays may be incorrect qualification by emergency team members due to incomplete medical records and incorrect evaluation of symptoms by dispatchers or paramedics. The dispatcher’s precise identification of the report helps them decide on the patient’s priority disposal of the ambulance. In comparison, a correct initial diagnosis by paramedics allows the patient to be transported immediately to the destination hospital, i.e., the unit with a stroke unit. Extending the time it takes for the patient to enter the stroke facility due to the patient being moved through stages reduces the probability of successful treatment being introduced significantly.   RESULTS: We hypothesized that paramedics’ knowledge of prehospital stroke management protocols would be linked to their clinical experience as well as their stroke preparation.   CONCLUSION: A secondary goal of this study was to evaluate and compare the theoretical knowledge on stroke management among paramedics and identify factors associated with high knowledge. 468 EMS providers agreed to complete a questionnaire that included demographic questions, practical experience questions, and 14 theoretical information questions. Our research found that paramedics in Poland have significant awareness gaps in existing stroke treatment guidelines.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death in both developed and developing countries. While hemorrhagic stroke often necessitates immediate neurosurgical intervention, ischemic stroke is treated with reperfusion therapies such as thrombolysis with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) and early endovascular thrombectomy for broad vessel occlusions.   OBJECTIVES: Early diagnoses, accurate emergency medical services (EMS) dispatch, rapid EMS transfer, and stroke team activation have helped reduce door-to-IV tPA time and continue to be critical in saving time for stroke patients’ treatment.   MATERIAL AND METHODS: One reason for prehospital delays may be incorrect qualification by emergency team members due to incomplete medical records and incorrect evaluation of symptoms by dispatchers or paramedics. The dispatcher’s precise identification of the report helps them decide on the patient’s priority disposal of the ambulance. In comparison, a correct initial diagnosis by paramedics allows the patient to be transported immediately to the destination hospital, i.e., the unit with a stroke unit. Extending the time it takes for the patient to enter the stroke facility due to the patient being moved through stages reduces the probability of successful treatment being introduced significantly.   RESULTS: We hypothesized that paramedics’ knowledge of prehospital stroke management protocols would be linked to their clinical experience as well as their stroke preparation.   CONCLUSION: A secondary goal of this study was to evaluate and compare the theoretical knowledge on stroke management among paramedics and identify factors associated with high knowledge. 468 EMS providers agreed to complete a questionnaire that included demographic questions, practical experience questions, and 14 theoretical information questions. Our research found that paramedics in Poland have significant awareness gaps in existing stroke treatment guidelines.

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Keywords

prehospital care, stroke, EMS, questionnaire, paramedics

About this article
Title

Profile of practices and knowledge on stroke among Polish emergency medical service staff

Journal

Disaster and Emergency Medicine Journal

Issue

Vol 6, No 2 (2021)

Article type

Research paper

Pages

55-62

Published online

2021-05-31

DOI

10.5603/DEMJ.a2021.0009

Bibliographic record

Disaster Emerg Med J 2021;6(2):55-62.

Keywords

prehospital care
stroke
EMS
questionnaire
paramedics

Authors

Natasza Blek
Lukasz Szarpak

References (19)
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