Background: There is concern regarding hospital bypass stroke protocols potentially compromising IVtPA treatment due to transit time delay. We compared our IV thrombolysis time efficiencies before and after Rapid Arterial oCclusion Evaluation Alert (RACE) bypass protocol (RA) implementation in Lucas County (LC) Ohio.
Methods: RA protocol whereby RACE score ≥5 patients are transferred directly to comprehensive stroke center (CSC) for potential mechanical thrombectomy (MT) was implemented in Jul 2015. All stroke alerts (SA) that required MT from July 2013 through June 2015 were compared to MT cases performed following RA protocol implementation. Transfers from other counties, private transport and in-hospital cases were excluded and only patients brought via LC-EMS were included in the analysis. Basic demographics, risk factors, 911 activation to treatment time, and outcomes were compared.
Results: Between Jul 2015-Jun 2016, 37 RA patients underwent MT of which 21 (56.8%) were given IV tPA at the CSC. Whereas in the preceding 2 years from Jul 2013-Jun 2015, 56 SA patients underwent MT, of which 22 (39%) received IVtPA. Of these SA cases, 11 (50%) were drip and transfer from other LC ERs and the remaining 11 (50%) presented directly to CSC. The 911 activation to 1st ER arrival remained unchanged (34 vs. 32 mins, p 0.4), whereas tPA administration was significantly faster (64 vs. 88 mins, p <0.05) in the RA cohort (see graphic).
Conclusions: Within LC, the RA bypass protocol did not result in a significant delay to ER arrival and it significantly expedited IV tPA delivery to patients undergoing MT. Further prospective studies are warranted.