Prehospital identification of large vessel occlusion using the FAST‐ED score

Abstract

Objectives

The prehospital identification of stroke patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) enables appropriate hospital selection and reduces the onset-to-treatment time. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the Field Assessment Stroke Triage for Emergency Destination (FAST-ED) scale could be reconstructed from existing prehospital patient reports and to compare its performance with neurologist’s clinical judgement using the same prehospital data.

Materials & Methods

All patients transported by ambulance using stroke code on a six-month period were registered for the study. The prehospital patient reports were retrospectively evaluated using the FAST-ED scale by two investigators. The performance of FAST-ED score (≥4 points) in LVO identification was compared to neurologist’s clinical judgement (‘LVO or not’). The presence of LVO was verified using computed tomography angiography imaging.

Results

A total of 610 FAST-ED scores were obtained. The FAST-ED had a sensitivity of 57.8%, specificity of 87.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 37.3%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 93.4% and area under curve (AUC) of 0.724. Interclass correlation coefficient for both raters over the entire range of FAST-ED was 0.92 (0.88–0.94). The neurologist’s clinical judgement raised sensitivity to 79.4%, NPV to 97.1% and PPV to 45.0% with an AUC of 0.837 (p < .05).

Conclusions

The existing patient report data could be feasibly used to reconstruct FAST-ED scores to identify LVO. The binary FAST-ED score had a moderate sensitivity and good specificity for prehospital LVO identification. However, the FAST-ED was surpassed by neurologist’s clinical judgement which further increased the sensitivity of identification.

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