Too many stroke patients miss crucial window

3 October 2014

A new study has found that too many stroke patients are missing the support they need in aftercare to return to a normal healthy lifestyle.

Presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Vancouver, the findings suggest that more needs to be done to help people in this situation in the crucial days and weeks after they suffer a stroke. The research indicated that decisions are being made based on what services are available in the health system rather than what patients really need. 

The study revealed that just 16 per cent of patients who had suffered a stroke were discharged to inpatient rehabilitation, however these rates varied greatly between different areas. The lowest level saw just one per cent of people directed towards these aftercare facilities, while the greatest was more than a quarter (26 per cent).

It also varied widely between hospitals, with the rates ranging from zero per cent to nearly half (48 per cent).

However, the study also found that some patients who did not need rehabilitation received it, while those who did get rehab care weren't given access to all the services they needed.

Dr Michael Hill, director of the stroke unit at the Foothills Medical Centre and the study's author, said many stroke patients are "falling through the cracks".

Posted by Jeanette Royston​

 

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