Recent studies have shown that 4% to 17% of all strokes in the United States occur in patients who are hospitalized for other reasons. This estimate may be under-reported, however, as stroke symptoms may be attributed to other causes. When strokes are recognized in the community, there is a time lag between onset and treatment because of the need to be transported to a hospital. One would then expect that a patient already in the hospital, who has no time lag, would receive faster care; but in fact, the opposite is the case.
Some hospitals have developed protocols to decrease the time to recognize and respond to in-hospital strokes. Educational programs for staff, stroke alert programs, and stroke teams have been found to decrease response time and improve outcomes, yet delays remain as staff just cannot check on patients often enough to catch all strokes quickly . Additional technology is needed to reduce the time to stroke detection and improve patient outcomes.
Adjusting for age, sex, comorbid conditions, stroke type, and severity, patients whose strokes occur in the hospital have a greater risk of death or disability compared with those with community-onset stroke. The reasons are complex. One cause is the fact that cues are not immediately observed; in the community, someone might notice a person’s face begin to droop or speech to slur. But someone already in the hospital may be sedated, intubated, and have periods of time alone. Thus, these important signs are missed. Medical staff with many patients may not be able to check for stroke signs as frequently as would be ideal. And finally, stroke symptoms may often go undetected because they are confused with or masked by the symptoms of other existing conditions.
Development of protocols and education should continue in order to improve outcomes for patients with stroke in the hospital. But this alone will not solve the problem of delayed detection, because staff resources are limited. Technology that accurately detects the first signs of a stroke while keeping false alarms to an absolute minimum would help the medical staff provide the very best of care for their patients, decrease hospital expenses, reduce the length of hospital stays, and avoid costly litigation.
Neuralert Technologies combines a unique, non-invasive wristband technology with a state-of-the-art patented algorithm developed by the University of Pennsylvania to detect asymmetry in arm movement, one of the most common initial indications of stroke onset. Neuralert’s algorithm mathematically models out other causes of asymmetry, such as hand dominance, eating, speaking on the phone, or an IV in one arm, thereby detecting only true anomalies in asymmetric patterns. Neuralert then immediately alerts hospital staff to assess the patient and initiate necessary treatment.
Neuralert is a breakthrough in stroke detection. Founded by doctors and computer science experts, we are dedicated to improving outcomes for patients in the hospital. . Contact us today at (215)898-9591 to discuss how Neuralert can help your hospital improve your patient outcomes and reduce the significant costs associated with in-hospital strokes.