Access to intravenous thrombolysis for acute ischaemic stroke is limited worldwide, particularly in regional and rural areas including in Australia. We are testing the effectiveness of a new rural Prehospital Acute Stroke Triage protocol that includes prehospital assessment and rapid transport of patients from a rural catchment to the major stroke centre in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The local district hospitals within the rural catchment do not have the capability or infrastructure to deliver acute stroke thrombolysis. The trial has relevance to stroke clinicians, health service managers and planners responsible for rural populations.
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