Stroke unit care--who benefits? Comparisons with general medical care in relation to prognostic indicators on admission.
The clinical outcome in 110 patients admitted to a non-intensive stroke unit was compared to that in 183 patients treated for acute stroke in general medical wards. At entry, the two groups of patients were closely similar in all prognostic indicators. Subsets of patients were analyzed in an attempt to identify groups that benefit more than others from stroke unit care. The stroke unit regime had little effect on short-term and long-term mortality rates in the entire stroke population as well as in subgroups. But after the care in the stroke unit, the need for long-term hospitalization in survivors was reduced (p = 0.0001). This difference in favour of the stroke unit was independent of the patients' age, the extent of neurological deficit on admission and previous history. In subgroups where the general prognosis is fair or good (minor neurological deficits and less than 75 yrs), SU care accelerated the process of rehabilitation, but the need for institutional care very late after the stroke was influenced only little. In groups with a poor general prognosis (major deficits and greater than or equal to 75 yrs), the ultimate proportion of patients able to return home was enhanced by SU care. It is concluded that care in a stroke unit benefits the great majority of stroke patients and that such a unit should be designed to admit all acute stroke patients without selection.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association