European Stroke Organisation Recommendations to Establish a Stroke Unit and Stroke Center
In the recent Helsingborg declaration, acute organized stroke unit care was described as the backbone of the chain of care for all European stroke victims. Access to stroke units is, however, still limited. To improve the availability and the quality of affordable stroke care, the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) has appointed an ESO Stroke Unit Certification Committee to define the requirements and criteria for official certification as ESO Stroke Units and ESO Stroke Centres based on scientific evidence from randomized controlled trials, clinical practice guidelines, and expert consensus. Important features of modern stroke care include the presence of a dedicated stroke unit ward, a multiprofessional team approach, a comprehensive stroke unit organization, including emergency room organization, adherence to diagnostic and therapeutic time-windows, early swallowing diagnostics and therapy, intravenous thrombolytic therapy, periods of automated monitoring, access to decrompressive craniectomy and intraarterial thrombolysis, early mobilization and rehabilitation, supported discharge and basic aftercare with treatment of risk factors and poststroke prevention. The Committee defined the target population, the necessary infrastructure, technical equipment, diagnostic pathways, therapeutic interventions, nursing care, and multiprofessional rehabilitation. The definitions also cover the hospital environment characteristics and the stroke unit’s interactions with other departments. Quality indicators for benchmarking are presented. Although the ESO Stroke Unit’s requirements are largely evidence-based, expert consensus is also included where evidence was unavailable. These recommendations of the ESO task force should stimulate hospitals in Europe to apply for ESO certification. Fulfilling of the criteria will be checked by on-site visits.
- criteria for stroke unit care
- European Stroke Organisation
- ESO Stroke Unit
- ESO Stroke Center
- organized stroke unit care
- Received July 10, 2012.
- Revision received September 25, 2012.
- Accepted October 25, 2012.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.