The acute care of stroke involves the administration of a clot-dissolving drug (thrombolysis) and/or its removal using endovascular clot retrieval. Earlier intervention results in significantly improved patient outcomes. Clinical assessment scores have limitations, and studies have shown that even the most robust scores have a reported false-negative rate of >20% for large vessel occlusive strokes that may be eligible for clot retrieval, while inappropriate bypass may delay delivery of thrombolysis.1 Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) has been shown to have a very high sensitivity and specificity in the identification of acute stroke versus matched controls in an in-hospital setting.(2,3)
The SPIDER study commenced in Brisbane, Queensland on September 3, 2018, and is investigating the use of an EEG recorder to gather data on acute stroke patients presenting to a metropolitan ambulance service.
The data collected will guide the development of a simple numerical output reference to guide decision making. The data may aid in identifying large vessel occlusive stroke and patients eligible for endovascular intervention. The QEEG will provide a more accurate and cost-effective tool for the prehospital clinician over other imaging technologies and can guide early destination decisions. This presentation discusses the implementation of a pre-hospital research platform, integration with the clinical dispatch matrix, staff engagement, patient recruitment, and the success of the project so far.