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Delays in the arrival of patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage at a tertiary hospital
INTRODUCTION. Patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage should be referred to a tertiary hospital as early as possible. The aim of this research was to study how long these patients take to reach a tertiary care centre in Havana.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We conducted a prospective study of patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage who were admitted to the Stroke Unit at the Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras between January 2005 and December 2007. The time of arrival at the hospital was determined and a comparison was carried out between patients who arrived after 72 hours and those who reached the hospital sooner.
RESULTS. The sample studied comprised 94 patients. Only 34 (36%) arrived during the first three days, whereas 13 (13.8%) reached the hospital within the first 24 hours. None of the sociodemographic and clinical variables that were studied was associated with early remission. The length of time spent in hospital by patients admitted during the first 72 hours was 14.9 days, while in the other cases it was 17.57 days (p = 0.248). The greatest impact on early remission to the tertiary centre was on the outcome at discharge on the Rankin scale, which was lower in those who arrived early compared to the rest of the cases (p = 0.05); the same was true of mortality, which was 5.9% in those who arrived within the first 72 hours versus 11.7% in the others (p = 0.04).