How would British stroke physicians diagnose and treat hypoxia in patients with acute stroke?
Roffe C., Arora A., Crome P., Gray R.
There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to guide oxygen treatment after stroke. This survey aims to establish a snapshot of views of clinicians on best current practice relating to the management of hypoxia early after acute stroke. A postal questionnaire was sent to all 231 members of the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP). For 88% of the 130 respondents the decision to give oxygen was guided by the oxygen saturation, and for 67% it was guided by clinical criteria. The mean cut-off for oxygen supplementation suggested was ≤ 93% SD 2 (range 85-98%). Sixty-seven respondents would give oxygen by nasal cannulae and 74 via face mask. The oxygen concentration selected was 24% (n=17), 28% (n=31), 35% (n=15), 40% (n=3) and 100% (n=3). This shows there is wide variation amongst stroke physicians about when to start oxygen, how much to give and by which route. There is a need for a randomised clinical trial to guide oxygen therapy after acute stroke.