Different utilization of intensive care services (ICSs) for patients dying of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, a hospital-based survey

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The intensive care service (ICS) saves lives and rescues the neurological function of stroke patients. We wondered the different utilization of ICS for patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, especially those who died within 30 days after stroke.

Sixty-seven patients died during 2011 to 2015 due to acute stroke (42 due to intracranial hemorrhage [ICH]; 25 due to cerebral infarct [CI]). The durations of hospital stay (hospital staying days [HSDs]) and ICS staying days (ISDs) and codes of the do-not-resuscitate (DNR) were surveyed among these medical records. Statistics included chi-square and descriptive analyses.

In this study, CI patients had a longer HSD (mean 14.3 days), as compared with ICH patients (mean 8.3 days); however, the ICH patients had a higher percentage of early entry within the first 24 hours of admission into ICS than CI group (95.1% vs 60.0%, P = .003). A higher rate of CI patients died in holidays or weekends than those with ICH (44.0% vs 21.4%, P = .051). DNR, requested mainly from direct descendants (children or grandchildren), was coded in all 25 CI patients (100.0%) and 38 ICH patients (90.5%). More cases with early DNR coded within 24 hours after admission occurred in ICH group (47%, 12% in CI patients, P = .003). None of the stroke patient had living wills. Withhold of endotracheal intubation (ETI) occurred among CI patients, more than for ICH patients (76.0% vs 18.4%, P < .005).

In conclusion, CI patients longer HSD, ISD, higher mortality within holidays or weekends, and higher ETI withhold; but less percentage of ICS utilization expressed by a lower ISD/HSD ratio. This ICS utilization is a key issue of medical quality for stroke care.

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