Objective: Prehospital delay is the major cause of treatment delay in stroke. This study was conducted to clarify the contribution of specific stroke-related symptoms to prehospital delay.
Methods:A consecutive series of 469 patients hospitalized within 2 weeks of stroke onset was collected. In this study, prehospital delay was defined as the time interval from recognition of stroke-related symptoms to hospital arrival. The prevalence of each symptom or sign and prehospital delay were analyzed.
Results:Weakness of the lower limb (43.5%) was the most common symptom followed by weakness of the upper limb (37.1%) and dysarthria (31.6%). Conversely, the most common sign was weakness of the upper limb (54.1%) followed by dysarthria (53.3%), weakness of the lower limb (53.1%), and sensory disturbance (39.0%). The presence of confusion/decreased level of consciousness (p<0.001), aphasia (p<0.001), headache (p=0.017), and nausea/vomiting (p=0.035) were associated with earlier hospital visitation compared with the absence of these symptoms in univariate analyses. Conversely, the presence of sensory disturbance (p= 0.0017) and vertigo/dizziness (p=0.044) were associated with a significant delay in hospital visitation compared with the absence of these symptoms. There was a discrepancy in the prevalence between symptoms recognized by the patients or bystanders and signs diagnosed by the physicians.
Conclusion:There was a significant overall correlation between prehospital delay and the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale scores. Public education is therefore necessary to encourage early hospital visitation even with the appearance of mild symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine