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Home > Topics > Medical / Clinical

Study finds paramedics skilled in identifying strokes

Results were presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans

Health Daily Digest

NEW ORLEANS — Stroke risk suspected by paramedics is probably right as a paramedic is able to diagnose stroke patients with a 99.3 percent specificity, suggested a study that will be presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans.

A paramedic is a healthcare expert that works in emergency medical situations and provides advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. Paramedics provide out-of-hospital treatment and some diagnostic services.

Full story: Study finds paramedics skilled in identifying strokes

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Richard C Nix Richard C Nix Friday, March 30, 2012 11:56:21 PM 99.3%? Sorry. Throwin' the BS Flag here. NOTHING in EMS is 99.3% certain. Our best educated-and-experienced-silly-wild-ass-guess using Cincinnati or LAPSS as well as a host of assessments will never yield these kinds of results for any working diagnosis. I don't know who wrote this article, but it seems to be a series of very vague, intentionally non-specific and contradictory statements.
Scott Ruch Scott Ruch Saturday, March 31, 2012 12:02:34 AM WTH, thinking that primary diag shows up on scene?
Richard C Nix Richard C Nix Saturday, March 31, 2012 12:22:51 AM Occasionally, but always an educated guess. I'm thinking this article has a typo for one, and is a "cut and paste" of a longer article that might clarify the point. But, as written, it is not only wrong, but steers the reader way off the point.
John Abarca John Abarca Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:53:43 AM Richard, they are saying that in this study, 99.3% of the time the Dx of the paramedic( stroke or no stroke) was correct.
Ross Prager Ross Prager Saturday, March 31, 2012 1:16:17 PM Hey, a 99.3% specificity means that when they said someone was having a stroke they were right 99.3% of the time. This value does not take into account for how many strokes they missed. An excerpt from the entire article is below: While the EMS specificity rate in identifying strokes was 99.3 percent, the sensitivity rate was only 51 percent. In other words, when paramedics suspected patients were having strokes, they were probably correct -- but they also missed many cases. Of the 96 actual strokes, paramedics correctly identified 49 cases, but missed 47. Paramedics were most likely to miss strokes in patients younger than 45.
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:41:38 PM As quoted: "Of the 96 actual strokes, paramedics correctly identified 49 cases, but missed 47." The study sounds more reasonable when you look at the total numbers and significance. As far the 99.3%, what would be interesting to know is how many of the calls came by dispatch as a "possible stroke" where the 911 caller had already identified the possible stroke due to all of the public education in the recent years. I would bet the identification of these strokes by the bystander or loved one was probably close to 90%.

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