Acute Stroke Destination Policies
Four new Regional Acute Stroke Destination Policies that have been developed for New Zealand by the National Stroke Network and the ambulance sector. They will be implemented from Monday 11th September 2017.
In summary, the destination policies:
- Confirm the clinical criteria to diagnose acute stroke in the out-of-hospital setting and
- Confirm the ‘cut off’ time for direct transport to a stroke hospital and
- Specify which hospitals are designated as stroke hospitals in each region.
Patients with an acute stroke who can be transported to a designated stroke hospital within four hours of the onset of symptoms will be transported directly to a stroke hospital (utilising the appropriate Regional Acute Stroke Destination Policy) whenever it is feasible and safe to do so. The policies also reinforce the importance of ambulance personnel providing hospital personnel with as much pre-notification as possible and providing the patient’s NHI (if known) during pre-notification.
Prior to 11 September, it is important that as many clinicians as possible are made aware of the policies and are encouraged to read the policy that is relevant to their geographic area.
The Acute Stroke Destination Policies represent an exciting opportunity to improve outcomes for patients with an acute stroke by ensuring patients have prompt access to reperfusion therapy if indicated.