Three ways to fewer stroke cases

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Mia von Euler, Docent in Neurology and Head of Karolinska Institutet Stroke Research Network at Södersjukhuset, lists three areas for improvement to be investigated in a new research project.

1. Better handover from hospitals to health care centres when stroke patients are discharged

"It has turned out that the primary health care centres do not always find these patients. Far too often, there are gaps in the handover, and we want to find out how common this is and why."

2. Treating atrial fibrillation

"There is an under-treatment of atrial fibrillation, which is a risk factor for stroke. Doctors and patients fear that treatment with the anticoagulant WaranR can lead to bleeding in the event of a fall and the treatment may be considered as too complicated for some patients. However, in recent years, there have been several new anticoagulants, and thanks to the information about them, we are happy to note an increase in prescriptions of the older treatment. Now we will follow up on the treatments to understand what it is that determines who gets treatment and who does not."

3. Preventing recurrence due to discontinued treatment

"It may sound weird but the reality is that some patients discontinue their life-long treatment after a stroke. The solution may be better written information that is individually designed. A patient who has suffered a stroke caused by a clot should not be given information about strokes caused by bleeding. As the treatments are different, this could be totally confusing."

Text: Fredrik Hedlund. First published in Medical Science nr 1 2013.