Air retrieval for clot retrieval; time-metrics and outcomes of stroke patients from rural and remote regions air-transported for mechanical thrombectomy at a state stroke unit

Matthew T. Crockett, Nihar Jha, Andrew J. Hooper, Albert H.Y. Chiu, Tejinder P. Singh, Timothy J. Phillips, William McAuliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Providing thrombectomy services to rural or remote regions with small, dispersed populations presents a particular challenge. Sustaining local thrombectomy services is not viable given the low throughput of cases, therefore large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke patients require emergent transfer, often by air, to the closest high volume urban thrombectomy unit. The aim of this paper is to present logistical, time-metric data and outcome data on LVO stroke patients that have been aeromedically retrieved for thrombectomy from the vast, 2,500,000-km2 rural catchment of the Western Australian state thrombectomy unit. Methods: The prospectively collected state thrombectomy registry was reviewed and all patients that underwent thrombectomy for LVO strokes following aeromedical retrieval from remote or rural catchments were identified. Multiple logistic and time-metric data points were recorded and outcomes were compared to a cohort of urban patients treated over the same period. Results: Over a 2-year period 30 patients underwent thrombectomy following aeromedical retrieval, either by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, from rural and remote regions of Western Australia. The mean aeromedical retrieval distance was 393 km while the maximum retrieval distance was over 2600 km. The mean ictus to recanalization time was 657 min, an mTICI 2b-3 recanalization was achieved in 93% of cases and 62% of anterior circulation, and 50% of posterior circulation LVO stroke patients achieved functional independence at 90-days. Outcome data for rural patients compared favourably to urban patients treated over the same time period. Conclusion: With the availability of an efficient aeromedical retrieval service, LVO stroke patients in rural and remote regions can achieve excellent outcomes following transfer to a high volume thrombectomy unit, even if distances involved are very large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume70
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

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