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Hospital size, remoteness and stroke outcome
Introduction: Previous studies have shown an association between number of stroke admissions and outcomes. Small hospitals often support more remote areas and we studied national data to determine if an association exists between hospital remoteness and stroke care.
Methods: Data from the Irish National Audit of Stroke (INAS) on average stroke admissions, adjusted mortality for ischaemic stroke, thrombolysis rate and proportion with door to needle (DTN) ≤45 min were analysed. Hospital remoteness was quantified by distance to the next hospital, nearest neurointerventional centre and location within 10 km of the national motorway network.
Results: Data for 23 of 24 stroke services were evaluated. Median number of strokes admitted per year was 186 (range 84-497). Nine hospitals (39%) admitted ≥200 stroke patients per year (mean 332). Average adjusted mortality (7.0 vs. 7.3, P = 0.67 t-test), mean thrombolysis rate (12.1% vs. 9.2%, P = 0.09) and mean proportion of patients treated ≤45 min (40.4% vs. 31.3%, P = 0.2) did not differ significantly between higher and lower volume hospitals.Hospitals close to the motorway network (n = 15) had a higher mean thrombolysis rate (11.9% vs. 7.5%, P = 0.01 t-test) and proportion DTN ≤45 min (43.7-18.4%, P < 0.001).Number of stroke admissions did not correlate with mortality (r = 0.06, P = 0.78), DTN (r = 0.12, P = 0.95) or thrombolysis rate (r = 0.35, P = 0.20). Distance to next hospital correlated strongly negatively with DTN (r = -0.47, P = 0.02) and thrombolysis rate (-0.43, P = 0.04).
Conclusion: Remoteness of hospitals is associated with worse measures of stroke outcome and management.
CommentsThis is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine following peer review. The version of record Harbison J, Collins R, McCormack J, Brych O, Fallon C, Cassidy T. Hospital size, remoteness and stroke outcome. QJM. 2022;116(4):288-291 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcac276
Published CitationHarbison J, Collins R, McCormack J, Brych O, Fallon C, Cassidy T. Hospital size, remoteness and stroke outcome. QJM. 2022;116(4):288-291
Publication Date15 December 2022
- National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA)
PublisherOxford University Press
- Accepted Version (Postprint)