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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Stroke patients with atrial fibrillation prescribed medication at discharge to prevent future strokes

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.

Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heartbeat. It is one of the leading causes of stroke and is a predictor of recurrent stroke. Studies have shown that the risk of stroke was lowered by 68% for atrial fibrillation patients treated with blood thinning medication. Warfarin and other "blood thinner" medications are often effective in preventing strokes from occurring again. A higher percentage may indicate that a hospital provides a higher level of patient care.

About this measure

This measure tracks the percentage of patients with atrial fibrillation who experienced an ischemic stroke and were discharged on “blood thinning” medication.

In this case, a higher number is better.

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
  2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 100
National Average 95
State Average 94
Source:Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, www.cms.gov
Stk3_278_Anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation/flutter
Last UpdateMarch 12, 2014

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