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Prehospital stroke care is the first link in the stroke chain of survival and includes symptom recognition, engagement of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system, timely and effective dispatcher response, and emergency medical response. Prehospital stroke screening tools are an important component in guiding the EMS response to stroke and proper triage of patients. Additionally, there is a growing body of research focused on applications for telemedicine, mobile stroke units, and diagnostic testing in the prehospital arena. Prehospital stroke care is integral to the organization of regionalized stroke systems. Implementation of stroke systems of care can lead to improved access to specialty services and improved patient health outcomes. In addition to increasing access to acute stroke care, telestroke shows great potential for integrating stroke systems of care and facilitating interactions between centres.
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