Volume 2020 Number 3
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


The ‘Act FAST’ campaign is a major international stroke prevention program aiming to raise knowledge and awareness of stroke signs and symptoms and encouraging calling emergency medical service (EMS) providers as soon as symptoms are recognized.1 We aim to evaluate the impact of the campaign by analyzing EMS stroke calls in Qatar as studies on the impact of such initiative on behavioral response at onset are limited.2 This is a retrospective time series evaluation utilizing monthly Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) EMS call data for strokes in Qatar. HMC Ambulance Service (HMCAS) uses the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) and International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) protocols. Emergency calls are thoroughly analyzed for stroke diagnosis. We will evaluate pre- and post-campaign the relative change in stroke calls volume and classify them into true stroke and stroke mimic calls based on Emergency Department and Stroke Unit data, and make a comparison in total proportion of true stroke calls. We will perform multivariable regression to measure the effect of campaign exposure on the volume of stroke-related calls and also describe any significant association between specific patient characteristics with increased ambulance usage, after controlling for confounders. Following the signs and symptoms of the stroke awareness campaign and suggested behavioral response at stroke onset, a relative increase in the number of stroke calls to EMS is expected as reported by Bray et al., following a similar campaign in Australia3. : The impact of the Act FAST stroke campaign on the population of Qatar will be determined by evaluating a relative change in stroke calls post-campaign and misclassifications. The percentage change in false alarms and calls without stroke specific symptoms in a population group will help identify campaign related contributing factors thereby providing evidence to tailor future campaigns.


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  1. Bray JE, Straney L, Barger B, Finn J. Effect of public awareness campaigns on calls to ambulance across Australia. Stroke. 2015;46(5):1377–80 .
  2. Rukn SA, Mazya MV, Hentati F, Sassi SB, Nabli F, Said Z, et al. Stroke in the Middle-East and North Africa: A 2-year prospective observational study of stroke characteristics in the region-Results from the Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke (SITS)-Middle-East and North African (MENA). Int J Stroke .
  3. Bray JE, Finn J, Cameron P, Smith K, Straney L, Cartledge S, et al. Temporal Trends in Emergency Medical Services and General Practitioner Use for Acute Stroke After Australian Public Education Campaigns. Stroke. 2018;49(12):3078–80 .
  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): emergency callspublic awareness campaign and stroke
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