First up in the EMS News this week I bring you a look at a new research trial in the U.K. conducted in the EMS sector on FAST response to stroke patients. The new study will be conducted across seven EMS services in the U.K. and the hope is to develop a new rapid stroke treatment program for use by paramedics in the field.

Time is Essential in Stroke Management

Elderly woman holding headThe researchers hail from the University of Nottingham where the stroke trial funded by the British Heart Foundation is based. Over 150,000 people suffer strokes each year across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With time being essential in getting the best patient outcomes and recovery, how EMS providers handle and treat these emergency patients is an important part of the treatment program.

The study there is looking at whether treatment with the drug Nitroglycerine could improve stroke outcomes when administered in the field by EMS providers rather than waiting for initial treatment to begin in the hospital. The thought process is that with patients who have stroke, the vasodilatory effects of the nitro could improve blood flow around a stroke’s blood clot temporarily until they get to the hospital and can get clot busting drugs on board.

The EMS providers would rapidly assess the stroke patient in the trial to ensure they were not hypotensive and then apply nitroglycerin paste to the patient while transporting them to a designated stroke center. The trial looks to have 850 patients undergo the trial treatment protocol over the next three years and see if early nitro treatment of stroke patients will improve outcomes for them after the fact. Who knows, we could be adapting this treatment here in the U.S. before you know it?

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Follow up on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Mobile Integrated Healthcare Update and Episode 440.

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