Family decisions have far more to do with the 30-day mortality rates of acute stroke victims than the quality of care, according to a new study.
The study, published in Neurology journal, examined the medical records of 436 people who had suffered an ischemic stroke. Of the 37 people who had died after 30 days, all but one would have lived longer if medical intervention had been permitted by their families, researchers determined.
Whether medical care following a stroke is governed by family consent or through advanced directives, the study calls into question the way stroke mortality rates reflect on care facilities’ quality and performance.
“It is clear that a significant component of the overall mortality score as currently constructed does not tell the whole story and is predicated on the preference of patients and their families,” University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) neurologist and lead author Adam Kelly, MD, said in an online article in Medical News Today.