Prolonged Stay of Stroke Patients in the Emergency Department May Lead to an Increased Risk of Complications, Poor Recovery, and Increased Mortality

Naveed Akhtar, Saadat Kamran, Rajvir Singh, Peter Cameron, Paula Bourke, Rabia Khan, Sujatha Joseph, Mark Santos, Dirk Deleu, Ahmed Own, Wafa Al-Yazeedi, Adeel Ajwad Butt, John Boulton, Ashfaq Shuaib

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim Following an acute stroke (AS), patients are at an increased risk of developing complications that may affect prognosis. With overcrowding in the emergency department (ED), patients stay longer hours to days before transfer to a proper stroke ward. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of increasing length of stay (LOS) in the ED on the risk of stroke-related complications. Methods We analyzed data from our stroke registry of patients admitted with AS during 2014. Stay in ED was divided into 2 groups: less than 8 hours and more than 8 hours. Data regarding demographics, stroke type, severity of stroke, ED (LOS) in hours, total LOS in hospital, number and types of complications, and prognosis were collected. Results Mean age was 54.8 years and 78.9% were males (total n = 894). Prior to ward admission, 265 (29.5%) patients remained in the ED for less than 8 hours and 629 (70.4%) remained for more than 8 hours. There was no significant difference in comorbidities or the severity of stroke at admission between the 2 groups. An ED LOS of less than 8 hours was associated with reduced risk of complications (14.3% versus 19.2%, P = .06), reduced LOS in hospital, better prognosis at discharge (72.5% versus 57.6% had modified Rankin Scale of ≤2, P = .001) and at 90 days (89% versus 78.8%, P = .007) and lower in-hospital mortality (1.5% versus 5.4 %, P = .004). Conclusion Delays in transferring AS patients from the ED may lead to an increase in complications resulting in an increased LOS and slower recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-678
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • emergency ward
  • management of stroke
  • Stroke care
  • stroke prognosis
  • stroke ward

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