What Dramatically Increases the Risk of Stroke?

Certain risk factors are predictors of higher risk of stroke: advanced age, a history of coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease (CAD/PVD), congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, diabetes, being female, and prior stroke or TIA. These risk factors are placed on a weighted scale, called CHA2DS2VASc (for the names of the conditions and categories). A score of 4 or more is considered high risk, with prior stroke/TIA and age 75+ scoring 2, while other factors score 1.

Other lifestyle factors also increase the risk of stroke: smoking (almost doubles the risk of ischemic stroke), oral contraceptives, lack of exercise, obesity, excessive alcohol use, and drug abuse.

Patients with any of these factors should be carefully monitored, especially when they present themselves for medical procedures in a hospital. Certain procedures also increase the risk of stroke, and combined with any of these pre-existing conditions, the likelihood of periprocedural stroke increases significantly.

Medical procedures with increased risk of stroke

Up to 17% of all strokes in the U.S. occur in hospitals where patients have been admitted for other reasons, and periprocedural strokes account for approximately 5% of all U.S. strokes.

Certain procedures have been associated with higher risks of stroke, occurring in 2-10% of patients who have received the following procedures:

  • Symptomatic CEA or stenting: 6% result in strokes, est. 4,200 strokes per year

  • Asymptomatic CEA or stenting: 2% result in strokes, est. 2,000 strokes per year

  • CABG: 3% result in strokes, est. 9,000 strokes per year

  • Cardiac Valve Replacement: 5% result in strokes, est. 7,500 strokes per year

  • Heart Transplant and LVAD: 7% result in strokes, est. 700 strokes per year

  • Cerebral aneurysm clipping and coiling: 5% result in strokes, est. 1,500 strokes per year

  • Descending thoracic aorta and thoracoabdominal aorta repair: 10% result in strokes, est. 2,000 per year

In addition to these procedures with a high likelihood of strokes, cardiac catheterization, which has a low risk of stroke at 0.4%, is nonetheless a serious concern due to its frequency; at an estimated 1,000,000 procedures per year, it is estimated to result in an additional 4,000 strokes per year in the U.S.

Other surgical features or conditions that may influence stroke risk include general anesthesia, cardiac bypass surgery of a longer duration, prolonged low intra-operative blood pressure (BP), and BP variability or dropping in mean artery pressure.

Combined procedures increase risk factors, and procedures combined with any of the pre-existing conditions listed above could potentially make the risk of stroke significantly worse.

Decreasing the risk or severity of long-term complications from an in-hospital stroke

Hospital medical teams aware of these risk factors often take preemptive steps, such as monitoring and administering appropriate medications to decrease the likelihood of stroke in these patients. But hospitals are often understaffed, and medical personnel are under tremendous pressure to provide optimal care for multiple patients simultaneously.

Add to this the fact that patients who are intubated, wearing an oxygen mask, or sedated may not demonstrate obvious stroke-like symptoms until hours after the stroke has taken place, almost guaranteeing very poor long-term outcomes. Your dedicated medical professionals need additional help monitoring patients at all times to catch a possible stroke as quickly as possible.

Neuralert is designed specifically for that purpose. Our Stroke Detection System utilizes a unique, reusable, non-invasive wristband technology combined with a state-of-the-art algorithm designed by the University of PA to detect asymmetry in arm movement, one of the initial indications of stroke onset.

What makes our patented system so successful is that the program’s artificial intelligence is able to mathematically model out other explanations of asymmetry, virtually eliminating false alarms. The system immediately sends an alert to hospital staff if signs of stroke are present, allowing for quick evaluation of the patient in order to begin life-saving treatment.

Studies show that half of all in-hospital strokes are not identified for more than 4 hours after onset, but Neuralert has been shown to identify 80% of ischemic strokes in less than 1 hour.

Partner with Neuralert today to significantly improve the timeframe for assessing strokes in your patients, improving their chances for positive long-term outcomes, and significantly decreasing hospital expenses and costs of litigation.