Background: Clinical trials have demonstrated the superiority of managing acute stroke in a dedicated stroke unit over conventional treatment in general medical wards. Based on these findings, nationwide stroke unit care programs have been implemented in several countries. Objective: To assess the effect of establishing a new dedicated acute stroke unit within a department of neurology on indicators of process of care and outcome of acute stroke in a routine clinical setting in Israel. Methods: Stroke patients admitted to the Sheba Medical Center during the period March 2001 to June 2002 were included in a prospective study according to selection criteria. Data on demographics, risk factors, co-morbidities and stroke severity were collected. Indicators of process of care and outcome were assessed at hospital discharge and 30 days follow-up. Comparison between outcome variables by hospitalization ward was done using logistic regression analysis adjusting for confounders. Results: Of 616 acute stroke patients (mean age 70 years, 61% men, 84% ischemic stroke), 353 (57%) were admitted to general wards and 263 (43%) to the stroke unit. Diagnostic procedures were performed more often and the infection rate was lower in the setting of the stroke unit. Poor outcome (modified Rankin scale ≥3 or death) was present less often in patients managed in the stroke unit both at hospital discharge (adjusted odds ratio 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.3-0.8) and at 30 day follow-up (adjusted OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-0.9). A Functional Independence Measure score ≤90 or death at 30 day follow-up was less frequent among patients managed in the stroke unit than in general wards (adjusted OR 0.5, 95%CI 0.2-0.8). Conclusions: Improved outcomes and higher adherence to guidelines were observed in patients treated in a stroke unit within a department of neurology. The results suggest that patients with acute stroke should have access to treatment in a dedicated stroke unit.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Israel Medical Association Journal|
|State||Published - Nov 2005|
- Acute stroke unit
- Process of care