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An Emergent Large Vessel Occlusion Screening Protocol for Acute Stroke: A Quality Improvement Initiative

Ver Hage, Anna; Teleb, Mohamed; Smith, Evelyn

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: April 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 2 - p 68–73
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000346

ABSTRACT Background: Nurses play an integral role in triaging stroke patients. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to determine the efficacy of using an emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) screening protocol in the emergency department by nursing staff to improve identification of eligible patients as compared with current practice, improving time to endovascular treatment. Methods: Retrospective chart review was used to identify 76 patients admitted to a large urban stroke center. Of these, 36 presented during a 4-month period before the implementation of the Stroke Vision, Aphasia, Neglect (Stroke VAN) tool for assessing ELVO risk; 40 patients were admitted during the 4 months after implementation of Stroke VAN. Results: The mean door-to-computed tomography angiography scan times were reduced from 119 to 49 minutes (P < .0001) for all patients and reduced from 77 to 27 minutes in a subset of VAN-positive patients. Conclusion: Implementation of the VAN screening tool to assess for ELVO was associated with decreased door-to-computed tomography angiography times and more rapid identification of endovascular eligible patients with ischemic stroke.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Anna Ver Hage, AGACNP MSN CNRN CCRN, at She is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa, AZ.

Mohamed Teleb, MD, is Neurointerventionalist, Neurointensivist, and Stroke Neurologist, Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa, AZ.

Evelyn Smith, RN, is Stroke Coordinator, Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa, AZ.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses