Stroke care drops in early months of pandemic

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

March 26, 2021 -- The number of hospitalizations for stroke fell during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the jump in stroke-related illness associated with the virus, particularly in the early months of the outbreak, according to a study that included 70 countries.

A research team led by Dr. Raul Nogueira from the radiology department at Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, conducted a cross-sectional, observational, retrospective study across six continents, 70 countries, and 457 stroke centers. They found an 11.5% decrease in stroke admissions, a 13.2% decrease in intravenous thrombolysis, and an 11.9% decrease in intravenous thrombolysis transfers during the first four pandemic months (Neurology, March 25, 2021).

However, stroke hospitalization volume bounced back 9.5% in May through June 2020 with greater recovery in hospitals that had lower COVID-19 hospitalization volume as well as high-volume stroke centers and comprehensive stroke centers.

In other findings, the researchers learned many African countries still do not have the ability to administer intravenous thrombolysis as part of their routine stroke care.


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