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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105857, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213403


OBJECTIVE: To characterize differences in disposition arrangement among rehab-eligible stroke patients at a Comprehensive Stroke Center before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a prospective registry for demographics, hospital course, and discharge dispositions of rehab-eligible acute stroke survivors admitted 6 months prior to (10/2019-03/2020) and during (04/2020-09/2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary outcome was discharge to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) as opposed to other facilities using descriptive statistics, and IRF versus home using unadjusted and adjusted backward stepwise logistic regression. RESULTS: Of the 507 rehab-eligible stroke survivors, there was no difference in age, premorbid disability, or stroke severity between study periods (p>0.05). There was a 9% absolute decrease in discharges to an IRF during the pandemic (32.1% vs. 41.1%, p=0.04), which translated to 38% lower odds of being discharged to IRF versus home in unadjusted regression (OR 0.62, 95%CI 0.42-0.92, p=0.016). The lower odds of discharge to IRF persisted in the multivariable model (aOR 0.16, 95%CI 0.09-0.31, p<0.001) despite a significant increase in discharge disability (median discharge mRS 4 [IQR 2-4] vs. 2 [IQR 1-3], p<0.001) during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Admission for stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a significantly lower probability of being discharged to an IRF. This effect persisted despite adjustment for predictors of IRF disposition, including functional disability at discharge. Potential reasons for this disparity are explored.

COVID-19 , Patient Discharge/trends , Patient Transfer/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke Rehabilitation/trends , Stroke/therapy , Aged , Disability Evaluation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New Jersey , Recovery of Function , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/physiopathology , Time Factors
Stroke ; 52(1): 40-47, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050420


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to an unprecedented paradigm shift in medical care. We sought to evaluate whether the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to delays in acute stroke management at comprehensive stroke centers. METHODS: Pooled clinical data of consecutive adult stroke patients from 14 US comprehensive stroke centers (January 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020) were queried. The rate of thrombolysis for nontransferred patients within the Target: Stroke goal of 60 minutes was compared between patients admitted from March 1, 2019, and July 31, 2019 (pre-COVID-19), and March 1, 2020, to July 31, 2020 (COVID-19). The time from arrival to imaging and treatment with thrombolysis or thrombectomy, as continuous variables, were also assessed. RESULTS: Of the 2955 patients who met inclusion criteria, 1491 were admitted during the pre-COVID-19 period and 1464 were admitted during COVID-19, 15% of whom underwent intravenous thrombolysis. Patients treated during COVID-19 were at lower odds of receiving thrombolysis within 60 minutes of arrival (odds ratio, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.38-0.98]; P=0.04), with a median delay in door-to-needle time of 4 minutes (P=0.03). The lower odds of achieving treatment in the Target: Stroke goal persisted after adjustment for all variables associated with earlier treatment (adjusted odds ratio, 0.55 [95% CI, 0.35-0.85]; P<0.01). The delay in thrombolysis appeared driven by the longer delay from imaging to bolus (median, 29 [interquartile range, 18-41] versus 22 [interquartile range, 13-37] minutes; P=0.02). There was no significant delay in door-to-groin puncture for patients who underwent thrombectomy (median, 83 [interquartile range, 63-133] versus 90 [interquartile range, 73-129] minutes; P=0.30). Delays in thrombolysis were observed in the months of June and July. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation for acute ischemic stroke during the COVID-19 period was associated with a small but significant delay in intravenous thrombolysis but no significant delay in thrombectomy time metrics. Taking steps to reduce delays from imaging to bolus time has the potential to attenuate this collateral effect of the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data