Ischemic stroke rates decrease during COVID-19 pandemic

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new research letter reveals fewer people have been admitted to stroke centers in Michigan and northwest Ohio since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, and significantly fewer patients received a mechanical thrombectomy for their ischemic stroke.

The authors call COVID-19's influence on other critical illnesses like a bystander effect. That's because time is of the essence for patients with stroke, but not everyone is getting to a comprehensive stroke center for needed care right now.

In the letter, researchers from Michigan Medicine with colleagues across the Michigan Stroke Treatment Improvement Collaborative reported a significant reduction in admissions in March when compared both to February of this year (17.8%) and to March of 2019 . Similarly, rates of a procedure for ischemic stroke, , significantly declined this March compared to February and compared to March of 2019.

"A combination of patient fears, stringent patient transfer criteria, and health system strains may have contributed to lower ischemic stroke admissions as well as the near disappearance of thrombectomy procedures," the authors write.

The differences were most pointed in ischemic stroke and quantity of thrombectomy procedures, authors say, while there was less of a change compared to past months for .

More information: Aditya S Pandey et al, Letter: COVID-19 Pandemic—The Bystander Effect on Stroke Care in Michigan, Neurosurgery (2020). DOI: 10.1093/neuros/nyaa252

Journal information: Neurosurgery

Citation: Ischemic stroke rates decrease during COVID-19 pandemic (2020, June 9) retrieved 29 November 2023 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Endovascular thrombectomy alone noninferior in ischemic stroke


Feedback to editors