Study: Stroke severity determines whether patients will go into a nursing home

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Stroke patients who suffer more severe strokes are more likely to be discharged from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home instead of to their homes, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Stroke severity was determined using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale. The study found that with every 5-point increase in stroke scale score, a patient's likelihood of being discharged to a rehabilitation or nursing provider roughly doubled. Of patients with scores below 10, two-thirds were discharged home. If the score was above 10, one-third were discharged home.

The study examined 546 acute ischemic stroke patients treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) at hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Israel.