Understanding the seriousness of a stroke is essential for appropriate help-seeking and early arrival at a stroke centre: A cross-sectional study of stroke patients and their bystanders

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Introduction: Only a minority of patients with acute ischaemic stroke receive reperfusion treatment, primarily due to prehospital delay. We aimed to investigate predictors of a primary contact to the emergency medical services, arrival at stroke centre within 3 h of symptom onset and initiation of reperfusion therapy in patients with acute stroke.

Patients and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of consecutive patients with acute ischaemic stroke, intracerebral haemorrhage or transient ischaemic attack. Structured interviews of patients and bystanders were performed and combined with clinical information from the Danish Stroke Registry. Eligible patients were aged >= 18 years and were independent in activities of daily living before the stroke.

Results: We included 435 patients. Presence of a bystander at symptom onset and knowledge of >= 2 core symptoms of stroke were associated with a primary emergency medical services contact. Higher stroke severity and patients or bystanders perceiving the situation as very serious were associated with a primary emergency medical services contact (OR(patients)2.10; 95% CI 1.12-3.95 and OR(bystanders)22.60; 95% CI 4.98-102.67),

Conclusion:Having a bystander, knowledge of >= 2 core symptoms and understanding that stroke is a serious event are associated with appropriate help-seeking behaviour, shorter prehospital delay and higher chance of reperfusion therapy in acute stroke patients.

TidsskriftEuropean Stroke Journal
Sider (fra-til)351-361
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020


  • stroke, Help-seeking behavior, prehospital triage

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