Hye-Yeon Choi ; Myoung-Jin Cha ' ; Ji Hoe Heo ; Keun Sik Hong ; Young Dae Kim ; Hyo Suk Nam
International Journal of Stroke, Vol.7(4) : 336~340, 2012
International Journal of Stroke
Organized stroke care systems improve stroke outcomes, but require resources and quality-improvement programs. This study was aimed at understanding the current status of stroke care services and stroke units in Korea. An on-line survey to investigate stroke services was conducted using a structured questionnaire for physicians who were in charge of stroke services or neurology departments of Korean hospitals that had neurology resident training programs. Of the 86 neurology training hospitals in Korea, 67 (78·0%) participated in this study. Brain computed tomography and computed tomography angiography were available 24 h a day and seven days a week (24/7) in all hospitals. More than 95% of hospitals offered transcranial Doppler, carotid duplex sonography, echocardiography, and conventional catheter angiography. Intravenous thrombolysis and hemicraniectomy for ischemic brain edema were provided 24/7 in all hospitals, and 50 hospitals (74·6%) were capable of intra-arterial thrombolysis. Stent or angioplasty was more frequently performed than endarterectomy. Performance measures were monitored in 57 hospitals (85·1%). Twenty-nine (43·3%) hospitals had stroke units. Stroke units were more common as the number of beds in the hospital increased (P = 0·001). When compared with hospitals without stroke units, stroke coordinators, use of general management protocol and education program for stroke team were more frequently available in the hospitals with stroke units. Most neurology training hospitals in Korea offered competent acute stroke care services. However, stroke units have not been widely implemented. Encouragement and support at the government or national stroke society level would promote the implementation of stroke units with little additional effort.