BACKGROUND: Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating and costly condition. Although the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommends admitting patients with ICH to a neurocritical care unit (NCCU), this strategy may accrue unnecessary cost for patients with relatively milder presentation. We conducted a prospective observational study to determine the safety and feasibility of admitting patients with mild ICH directly to a step-down unit (SDU) instead of an NCCU.
METHODS: Consecutive patients with "mild presentation," defined as a combination of ICH score ≤2, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) ≤ 15, and Graeb score ≤2 (if intraventricular hemorrhage was present), were admitted to the SDU. Data were collected on age, gender as well as the initial NIHSS, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), ICH, and Graeb scores. Primary end point was any complication or death during hospital stay.
RESULTS: Twenty patients were admitted to the SDU. No patient was transferred to the NCCU from the SDU. One patient, who eventually died, had respiratory insufficiency due to hospital-acquired pneumonia.
CONCLUSION: Admission of ICH patients with mild symptoms to the SDU is safe and feasible. Larger prospective studies are needed to define the specific criteria for admission.
- acute stroke management
- critical care
- intracerebral hemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine