Share this Article
VS Doshi, JH Say, SH-Y Young, P Doraisamy
Correspondence: Dr Doshi Shashikant Vina, Vina_Doshi@cgh.com.sg
Aim The aim of this study was to look at the type and frequencies of complications after an acute stroke in an inpatient rehabilitation setting. We also looked at the type of complications which required the transfer of patient care back to the primary referring physician.
Materials and Methods A retrospective review of case notes of patients transferred to the rehabilitation team was conducted. The study period was a six-month period from the beginning of January 2001 to the end of June 2001. A list of complications was made. Each pre-determined complication was then defined. The frequency of each complication was then calculated.
Results A total of 140 case notes were reviewed. The overall complication rate was 54.3%. The more common complications, in order, from highest to lowest frequencies, were: constipation (complicating 22.9% of strokes); acute retention of urine (ARU, 20.9%); urinary tract infections (UTI, 14.3%); depression (9.3%); and limb pain (8.6%). Females were more likely to have UTI (p=0.038), ARU (p=0.002) and depression (p=0.018). Patients 65 years and above were more likely to suffer multiple complications although the results did not reach statistical significance (p=0.055). The care for eight patients (5.7% of patients with complications) had to be transferred back to the primary referring team or physician.
Conclusion Complications post stroke are common. Some patients required transfer of care back to the primary referring physician. A pro-active approach is ideal in all post stroke patients, in order to identify and treat any complications early, thereby, improving outcome and reducing costs.
Keywords: stroke, complications, inpatient, stroke rehabilitation
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(12): 643-652