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Although the efficacy of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for acute ischemic stroke caused by intracranial anterior circulation large vessel occlusion (LVO) is proven, demonstration of local effectiveness is critical for health system planning and resource allocation because of the complexity and cost of this treatment.
Using our prospective registry, we identified all patients who underwent EVT for out-of-hospital LVO stroke from February 1, 2013 through January 31, 2017 (n = 44), and matched them 1:1 in a hierarchical fashion with control patients not treated with EVT based on age (±5 years), prehospital functional status, stroke syndrome, severity, and thrombolysis administration. Demographics, in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition from acute care, length of hospitalization, and functional status at discharge from acute care and at follow-up were compared between cases and controls.
For EVT-treated patients (median age 66, 50% women), the median onset-to-recanalization interval was 247 min, and successful recanalization was achieved in 30/44 (91%). Alteplase was administered in 75% of cases and 57% of controls (p = 0.07). In-hospital mortality was 11% among the cases and 36% in the control group (p = 0.006); this survival benefit persisted during follow-up (p = 0.014). More EVT patients were discharged home from acute care (50% vs. 18%, p = 0.002). Among survivors, there were nonsignificant trends in favor of EVT for median length of hospitalization (14 vs. 41 days, p = 0.11) and functional independence at follow-up (51% vs. 32%, p = 0.079).
EVT improved survival and decreased disability. This demonstration of single-center effectiveness may help facilitate expansion of EVT services in similar health-care jurisdictions.
Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is efficacious for ischemic stroke caused by proximal intracranial large-vessel occlusion involving the anterior cerebral circulation. However, evidence of its cost-effectiveness, especially in a real-world setting, is limited. We assessed whether EVT ± tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was cost-effective when compared with standard care ± tPA at our center.
We identified patients treated with EVT ± tPA after the Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing computed tomography to recanalization times trial from our prospective stroke registry from February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2017. Patients admitted before February 2013 and treated with standard care ± tPA constitute the controls. The sample size was 88. Cost-effectiveness was assessed using the net monetary benefit (NMB). Differences in average costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated using the augmented inverse probability weighted estimator. We accounted for sampling and methodological uncertainty in sensitivity analyses.
Patients treated with EVT ± tPA had a net gain of 2.89 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93–4.99] QALYs at an additional cost of $22,200 (95% CI: −28,902–78,244) per patient compared with the standard care ± tPA group. The NMB was $122,300 (95% CI: −4777–253,133) with a 0.85 probability of being cost-effective. The expected savings to the healthcare system would amount to $321,334 per year.
EVT ± tPA had higher costs and higher QALYs compared with the control, and is likely to be cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 per QALY.
When disasters happen, people experience broad environmental, physical, and psychosocial effects that can last for years. Researchers continue to focus on the acute physical injuries and aspects of patient care without considering the person as a whole. People who experience disasters also experience acute injury, exacerbations of chronic disease, mental and physical health effects, effects on social determinants of health, disruption to usual preventative care, and local community ripple effects. Researchers tend to look at these aspects of care separately, yet an individual can experience them all at once. The focus needs to change to address all the healthcare needs of an individual, rather than the likely needs of groups. Mental and physical care should not be separated, nor the determinants of health. The person, not the population, should be at the center of care. Primary care, poorly integrated into disaster management, can provide that focus with a "business as usual" mindset. This requires comprehensive, holistic coordination of care for people and families in the context of their local community.
To examine how Family Doctors (FDs) actually contribute to disaster response.
Thirty-seven disaster-experienced FDs were interviewed about how they contributed to response and recovery when disasters struck their communities.
FDs reported being guided by the usual evidence-based care characteristics of primary practice. The majority provided holistic comprehensive medical care and did not feel they needed many extra clinical training or skills. However, they did wish to understand the systems of disaster management, where they fit in, and their link to the broader disaster response.
The contribution of FDs to healthcare systems brings strengths of preventative care, early intervention, and ongoing local surveillance by a central, coordinating, and trusted health professional. There is no reason to not include disaster management in primary care.
Health effects of disasters are mostly consistent across hazard types. Those working in communities affected by disasters have an opportunity to provide surveillance and early management to patients affected by disaster through increased understanding of the epidemiology or health consequences in the days, weeks, months, and years after disasters. Disasters have been called a social determinant of health and population-level changes or social determinants that have been documented post-incident. Environmental and community disruption contribute to health effects. Consequent health effects are evidenced across body systems, affecting both physical and mental health.
To develop guidelines for primary care patient review following a disaster, based on the temporal pattern of disease epidemiology.
A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to examine the epidemiology of health consequences following disasters.
Guidelines for Family Doctors based on the literature review were developed to assist preventative care, surveillance, early identification of emerging conditions, and ongoing management of pre-existing disease.
Healthcare management in disasters focuses on acute healthcare in emergency departments and hospitals. However, healthcare is also being provided in primary healthcare settings during the first days to weeks of the catastrophe, with many health consequences ongoing in the weeks, months, and years after the event.