Factors influencing delay in presentation for acute stroke in an emergency department in Milan, Italy

Alberto Maestroni, C. Mandelli, D. Manganaro, B. Zecca, P. Rossi, V. Monzani, G. Torgano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Early treatment is critical for successful intervention in acute stroke. The aim of this study was to describe delays in presentation to hospital and in the emergency department (ED) management of patients with acute stroke and to identify factors influencing these delays in an Italian urban hospital. Methods: The present series includes all patients presenting with acute stroke, in whom arrival delay was ascertainable. To describe delays into the ED, the triage-visit delay, visit-computed tomography (CT) delay and visit - CT report delay were registered. Type of stroke, severity of stroke assessed using the modified National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (mNIHSS) scale, level of consciousness, history of previous stroke or previous hospital admission, use of the emergency medical service (EMS), onset of stroke during day or night and admission during working or non-working day were registered for every patient. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to evaluate factors influencing early arrival. Results: Over a one-year period 537 patients with acute stroke were evaluated; 375 patients in whom arrival delay was ascertainable were included in the study. Median arrival delay was 5.4 h (interquartile range (IQR) 2.7-11.6); 104 patients (28%) arrived within 3 h and 198 (53%) within 6 h. Triage-visit delay was 0.3 h (IQR 0.2-0.7), visit-CT scan delay was 1.2 h (IQR 0.8-1.9), visit-CT report delay was 2.7 h (IQR 1.7-4.5). Triage-visit delay and visit-CT delay were shorter for patients presenting within 3 h. The type of stroke was ischaemic in 240 (64%), haemorrhagic in 61 (16%) and transient ischaemic attack in 74 (20%). The median basal mNIHSS score was 5 (IQR 3-10); 64 patients (17%) had an altered level of consciousness, 103 (27%) had had a previous stroke, 223 (59%) had had a previous hospital admittance. In this series 214 patients (57%) arrived with the EMS, 323 (86%) presented with symptoms during the day, 261 (70%) were admitted during working days. Univariate analysis showed a significantly shorter arrival delay in patients calling the EMS (median 4.2 vs 7.2 h; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine


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