Acute medical complications often prevent patients with stroke from being transferred from stroke units to rehabilitation units, prolonging the occupation of hospital beds and delaying the start of intensive rehabilitation. This study defined incidence, timing, duration and risk factors of these complications during the acute phase of stroke. A retrospective case note review was made of hospital admissions of patients with stroke not associated with other disabling conditions, admitted to a stroke unit over 12 months and requiring rehabilitation for gait impairment. In this cohort, a search was made of hypertension, oxygen de-saturation, fever, and cardiac and pulmonary symptoms requiring medical intervention. Included were 135 patients. Hypertension was the most common complication (16.3%), followed by heart disease (14.8%), oxygen de-saturation (7.4%), fever (6.7%) and pulmonary disease (5.2%). Heart disease was the earliest and shortest complication. Most complications occurred during the first week. Except for hypertension, all complications resolved within 2 weeks.
Stroke Acute complications Stroke unit Rehabilitation
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