Prevention of blood clots in stroke patients
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Strokes occur when the brain doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. There are two classifications of strokes and the treatment may be different depending on the underlying cause of the stroke. A stroke can be hemorrhagic or ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Strokes require immediate medical attention. The sooner patients are treated for a stroke, the more likely they are to survive and have a better quality of life after the stroke.
Stroke patients are at a higher risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE refers to blood clots lodged in the deep veins of the leg. VTE can lead to serious conditions, including a clot traveling to the lungs, or even death. It is important that medical staff give prophylactic (preventive) treatment to stroke patients in order to avoid VTE. Preventive treatment can include intermittent compression to the lower legs and/or medication to thin the blood. A higher percentage may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of patient care.
About this measure
This measure tracks the percentage of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients who receive VTE prophylaxis by the end of their second day in the hospital.
In this case, a higher number is better.