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, 51 (1), 275-281

Modeling the Optimal Transportation for Acute Stroke Treatment: The Impact of the Drip-and-Drive Paradigm


Modeling the Optimal Transportation for Acute Stroke Treatment: The Impact of the Drip-and-Drive Paradigm

Marielle Ernst et al. Stroke.


Background and Purpose- Health systems are faced with the challenge of ensuring fast access to appropriate therapy for patients with acute stroke. The paradigms primarily discussed are mothership and drip and ship. Less attention has been focused on the drip-and-drive (DD) paradigm. Our aim was to analyze whether and under what conditions DD would predict the greatest probability of good outcome for patients with suspected ischemic stroke in Northwestern Germany. Methods- Conditional probability models based on the decay curves for endovascular therapy and intravenous thrombolysis were created to determine the best transport paradigm, and results were displayed using map visualizations. Our study area consisted of the federal states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Schleswig-Holstein in Northwestern Germany covering an area of 64 065 km2 with a population of 12 703 561 in 2017 (198 persons per km2). In several scenarios, the catchment area, that is, the region that would result in the greatest probability of good outcomes, was calculated for each of the mothership, drip-and-ship, and the DD paradigms. Several different treatment time parameters were varied including onset-to-first-medical-response time, ambulance-on-scene time, door-to-needle time at primary stroke center, needle-to-door time, door-to-needle time at comprehensive stroke center, door-to-groin-puncture time, needle-to-interventionalist-leave time, and interventionalist-arrival-to-groin-puncture time. Results- The mothership paradigm had the largest catchment area; however, the DD catchment area was larger than the drip-and-ship catchment area so long as the needle-to-interventionalist-leave time and the interventionalist-arrival-to-groin-puncture time remain <40 minutes each. A slowed workflow in the DD paradigm resulted in a decrease of the DD catchment area to 1221 km2 (2%). Conclusions- Our study suggests the largest catchment area for the mothership paradigm and a larger catchment area of DD paradigm compared with the drip-and-ship paradigm in Northwestern Germany in most scenarios. The existence of different paradigms allows the spread of capacities, shares the cost and hospital income, and gives primary stroke centers the possibility to provide endovascular therapy services 24/7.

Keywords: humans; probability; stroke; triage; workflow.

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