Patients admitted to designated stroke centers following an acute ischemic stroke had slightly lower mortality rates than patients who received treatment at non-designated hospitals, according to new research.
Study finds better results at stroke centers
Achieving stroke center designation involves meeting several criteria, which include having written care protocols, stroke teams, specialized stroke units and neuro-imaging services.
In the study, which appears in the Wednesday issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed data from more than 30,000 patients with acute ischemic stroke who were admitted to hospitals in New York State in 2005 and 2006. For patients admitted to stroke centers, the 30-day all-cause mortality rate was 10.1%. That risk rose to 12.5% for patients in non-designated facilities.
Those findings cause concern, the authors said, because of the increasing emphasis on establishment of stroke centers.
“Despite widespread support for the stroke center concept, there is limited empirical evidence demonstrating that admission to a stroke center is associated with lower mortality,” the authors wrote in the study.
Although the difference in risk of death was minimal, the authors did conclude that implementing a recommended stroke system of care was “associated with improvement in some outcomes for patients with acute ischemic stroke.”
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