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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 798258, 5 pages
Research Article

Five Years of Acute Stroke Unit Care: Comparing ASU and Non-ASU Admissions and Allied Health Involvement

1School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Level 4 Hunter Medical Research Institute, 1 Kookaburra Circuit, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia
2Neurology Department, John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Health, Locked Bag 1, Hunter Region Mail Centre, NSW 2301, Australia
3Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University Drive, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
4Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW2308, Australia
5School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health District, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia

Received 25 November 2013; Revised 23 January 2014; Accepted 23 January 2014; Published 3 March 2014

Academic Editor: Graeme Hankey

Copyright © 2014 Isobel J. Hubbard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Evidence indicates that Stroke Units decrease mortality and morbidity. An Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) provides specialised, hyperacute care and thrombolysis. John Hunter Hospital, Australia, admits 500 stroke patients each year and has a 4-bed ASU. Aims. This study investigated hospital admissions over a 5-year period of all strokes patients and of all patients admitted to the 4-bed ASU and the involvement of allied health professionals. Methods. The study retrospectively audited 5-year data from all stroke patients admitted to John Hunter Hospital and from nonstroke patients admitted to the ASU . The study’s primary outcomes were admission rates, length of stay (days), and allied health involvement. Results. Over 5 years, 47% of stroke patients were admitted to the ASU. More male stroke patients were admitted to the ASU (ch ; ). There was a trend over time towards parity between the number of stroke and nonstroke patients admitted to the ASU. When compared to those admitted elsewhere, ASU stroke patients had a longer length of stay ( ; ) and were more likely to receive allied healthcare. Conclusion. This is the first study to report 5 years of ASU admissions. Acute Stroke Units may benefit from a review of the healthcare provided to all stroke patients. The trends over time with respect to the utilisation of the John Hunter Hospitall’s ASU have resulted in a review of the hospitall’s Stroke Unit and allied healthcare.