[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) reduces the risk of stroke in patients with internal carotid stenosis of 50-99 per cent. This study assessed national surgical practice through audit of CEA procedures and outcomes.
This was a prospective cohort study of UK surgeons performing CEA, using clinical audit data collected continuously and reported in two rounds, covering operations from December 2005 to December 2007, and January 2008 to September 2009.
Some 352 (92·6 per cent) of 380 eligible surgeons contributed data. Of 19,935 CEAs recorded by Hospital Episode Statistics, 12,496 (62·7 per cent) were submitted to the audit. A total of 10,452 operations (83·6 per cent) were performed for symptomatic carotid stenosis; among these patients, the presenting symptoms were transient ischaemic attack in 4507 (43·1 per cent), stroke in 3572 (34·2 per cent) and amaurosis fugax in 1965 (18·8 per cent). The 30-day mortality rate was 1·0 per cent (48 of 4944) in round 1 and 0·8 per cent (50 of 6151) in round 2; the most common cause of death was stroke, followed by myocardial infarction. The rate of death or stroke within 30 days of surgery was 2·5 per cent (124 of 4918) in round 1 and 1·8 per cent (112 of 6135) in round 2.
CEA is performed less commonly in the UK than in other European countries and probably remains underutilized in the prevention of stroke. Increasing the number of CEAs done in the UK, together with reducing surgical waiting times, could prevent more strokes.
British Journal of Surgery 12/2011; 99(2):209-16. · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data are limited on the proportion of stroke patients nationally appropriate for thrombolysis either within the 3 h time window or the recently tested 4.5 h. This information is important for the redesign of services.
Data on case mix, eligibility for thrombolysis, treatment and outcomes were extracted from the National Sentinel Stroke 2008 Audit dataset. This contains retrospective data on up to 60 consecutive stroke admissions from each acute hospital in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 1 April and 30 June 2008.
All relevant hospitals participated, submitting data on 11,262 acute stroke patients. 2118 patients arrived within 2 h and 2596 within 3 h of the onset of symptoms and 587 people were already in hospital. Therefore, 28% (3183) were potentially eligible for thrombolysis based on a 3 h time criterion. Of these, 1914 were under 80 years and 2632 had infarction with 14% (1605) meeting all three National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke study criteria and so being potentially eligible for thrombolysis. If the time window is increased to 4.5 h then only another 2% became eligible. If the age limit was removed for treatment, the percentage potentially appropriate for tissue plasminogen activator increased to 23% within 3 h and 26% within 4.5 h. Overall, 1.4% (160) of patients were thrombolysed.
Thrombolysis rates are currently low in the UK. 14% of patients in this sample were potentially suitable for thrombolysis using the 3 h time window. This would only increase marginally if thrombolysis was extended to include those up to 4.5 h. The greatest impact on increasing the proportion of patients suitable for thrombolysis would be to increase the number of patients presenting early and by demonstrating that the treatment is safe and effective in patients over 80 years of age.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 01/2011; 82(1):14-9. · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little research has been performed to determine how a stroke unit should be staffed and what the links are between patient dependency and staffing. For this study, 140 stroke units were randomly selected--35 from each of the four quartiles of performance in the National Sentinel Audit of Stroke. A questionnaire was sent to each of the units to collect data on patient numbers and dependency, staffing numbers and therapy, and nursing contact times on a single weekday. The response rate was 66% (92 sites) and information on 1,398 patients was provided. The median number of beds was 18 (interquartile range 12-24). Staffing levels per 10 beds were a median of 10.9 nurses, 1.7 physiotherapists, 1.3 occupational therapists and 0.4 speech and language therapists. Of the patients, 74% received physiotherapy, 46% occupational therapy and 25% speech and language therapy during the day with median contact times being 170 minutes for nursing, 40 minutes for physiotherapy, 45 minutes for occupational therapy and 30 minutes for speech therapy. There was a weak correlation between patient dependency and contact time with nurses and therapists. Stroke patients in England receive relatively little rehabilitation from therapists and there is a wide variation in the amount of nursing time each patient receives.
Clinical medicine (London, England) 05/2009; 9(2):110-5. · 1.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess timeliness of carotid endarterectomy services in the United Kingdom.
Observational study with follow-up to March 2008.
UK hospitals performing carotid endarterectomy.
UK surgeons undertaking carotid endarterectomy from December 2005 to December 2007.
Provision and speed of delivery of appropriate assessments of patients; carotid endarterectomy and operative mortality; 30 day postoperative mortality.
240 (61% of those eligible) consultant surgeons took part from 102 (76%) hospitals and trusts. Of 9913 carotid endarterectomies recorded on hospital episode statistics, 5513 (56%) were included. Of the patients who underwent endarterectomy, 83% had a history of transient ischaemic attack or stroke. Of these recently symptomatic patients, 20% had their operation within two weeks of onset of symptoms and 30% waited more than 12 weeks. Operative mortality was 0.5% during the inpatient stay and 1.0% (95% confidence interval 0.7% to 1.3%) by 30 days.
Only 20% of symptomatic patients had surgery within the two week target time set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Although operative mortality rates are comparable with those in other countries, some patients might experience disabling or fatal stroke while waiting for surgery and hence not be included in operative statistics. Major improvements in services are necessary to enable early surgery in appropriate patients in order to prevent strokes.