SAGE Publications, International Journal of Stroke, 6(13), p. 550-553, 2018
Background and purpose Ischemic stroke patients must be transferred to comprehensive stroke centers for endovascular treatment, but this transfer can be interpreted post hoc as “futile” if patients do not ultimately undergo the procedure or have a poor outcome. We posit that transfer decisions must instead be evaluated in terms of appropriateness at the time of decision-making. Methods We propose a classification schema for Appropriateness of Transfer for Endovascular Thrombectomy based on patient, logistic, and center characteristics. Results The classification outline characteristics of patients that are 1. Appropriate for transfer for endovascular treatment; 2. Inappropriate for transfer; and 3. Appropriate for transfer for higher level of care. Conclusions Appropriate transfer decisions for endovascular treatment are significant for patient outcomes. A more nuanced understanding of transfer decision-making and a classification for such transfers can help minimize inappropriate transfers in acute stroke.