Patients in stroke units achieve better outcomes than those treated in conventional wards, a new study concludes.
Researchers tested the effectiveness of specialised care against conventional wards in hospitals in seven Italian regions between 2000 and 2004.
The observational study of over 11,000 acute stroke patients admitted within 48 hours of stroke onset showed that patients in a dedicated stroke unit are 20% less likely to die or become disabled two years after discharge.
The benefit of stroke care was significant for all age ranges and clinical characteristics.
The Lancet (2007) 369: 299-305