RIGHT-2 stroke trial: a paramedic’s view

Blurred ambulance

A paramedic based in Peterborough has spoken about her experiences and thoughts of the two-year national stroke trial, RIGHT-2.

Natasha Yusef has been one of the many involved in the scheme, which tests the pre-hospital administration of GTN patches vs. sham patches by paramedics, in FAST positive patients who have a score of two or three.

The ambulance-based study is exploring whether lowering blood pressure at the acute onset of stroke (<4 hours) reduces death and disability.

Read Natasha’s thoughts…

“I have always been really interested in clinical trials as they are a great way to be involved and learn more about advancements in medicine. So when the opportunity came up to be part of the RIGHT-2 trial, I jumped at it!

“One lovely sunny day, while working on an ambulance, my colleagues and I were called to a lady whose husband had called 999 as he thought she was having a stroke. When we got there it was clear she was FAST positive. We carried out a full assessment to rule out all stroke imposters, and came to the conclusion that she was indeed having a stroke. Whilst my colleague was moving the vehicle closer and getting the stretcher, I began to explain about the trial to the patient. Thankfully, she was interested and happy to know more. I gave her the short information sheet to read so that she was happy with what the trial entailed.

“Unfortunately, about half way through it, she was too worried about what was going on and lost interest in reading it, but, she was more than happy to listen as I finished reading it to her. She had found the information easy to understand and was still happy to proceed. She signed the consent form, I applied her first patch, and got her on the way to the closest stroke unit. Once there, the stroke nurse and doctor were waiting to receive us and they started their part of the process. As they were aware of the trial and understood the extra treatment plan they had to perform, they were happy to proceed and continue the patient’s care.

“I have found with the three patients I have enrolled into the trial so far that their condition at the time makes it difficult for them to read the consent form and information sheet themselves; so I do usually read it to them just to ensure that they have all the information! However, they have all been very receptive to the idea of participating in a trial to help improve care for the future, which is lovely to see.

“With this case in particular, I was really grateful to have the trial as I have always felt slightly helpless when responding to strokes. Ordinarily, there is nothing we can give in the pre-hospital setting to alleviate symptoms or improve prognosis, apart from taking the patient to the correct hospital quickly!

“Luckily I was able to follow up with the patient later in the day when I was back at the hospital and saw her. She had been thrombolised and appeared to be doing much better, with symptoms resolving. So to top it all - it was a lovely positive outcome.”

Natasha Yusef - Paramedic

Published 31st May, 2016

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