​​​​Image of Pablo Boada works with Toronto Rehab outpatient physiotherapist
Pablo Boada works with Toronto Rehab outpatient physiotherapist following his stroke. (Photo: Toronto Rehab)

Patients admitted to hospitals which treat fewer ischemic strokes are nearly 50 per cent more likely to die in the first week than those patients who go to hospitals treating higher volumes, says a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

An ischemic stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by the interruption of blood flow to the brain due to a clot or other obstruction.

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Dr. Mark Bayley, Medical Director, Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab, is a senior author on the research paper.

 "Our study strongly supports the recommendations of the Quality Based Procedures Clinical Handbook for Stroke produced by Health Quality Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Stroke Network," says Dr. Bayley. "These findings demonstrate that by consolidating acute stroke care in each region in Ontario, we can ensure that every person experiencing stroke will receive the best possible care."

Image of Dr. Mark Bayley
Dr. Mark Bayley, senior author of the study and Medical Director, Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab. (Photo: Toronto Rehab)

The study was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. This study is the largest to date to examine the links between stroke care volume and mortality. The researchers reviewed all 73,000 adult ischemic stroke cases at 162 Ontario hospitals in a seven-year period between 2005 and 2012.

Read full media release here​.

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