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Neurocrit Care. 2012 Dec;17(3):324-33. doi: 10.1007/s12028-012-9679-z.

Impact of interhospital transfer on complications and outcome after intracranial hemorrhage.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, Box 1136, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Interhospital transfer of patients with intracranial hemorrhage can offer improved care, but may be associated with complications.


A prospective single-center study was conducted between 2/2008 and 6/2010 of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and subdural hemorrhage (SDH), admitted to the neuro-ICU at a tertiary-care academic hospital. Admission demographics, complications and 3-month functional outcomes were compared between directly admitted and transferred patients. The effect of transfer time on complications and outcomes was assessed.


Of 257 total patients, 120 (47%) were transferred and 137 (53%) were directly admitted. About 86 (34%) had SAH, 80 (31%) had ICH and 91 (35%) had SDH. The median transfer time was 190 min (46-1,446). Transferred patients were significantly less educated, less likely to be insured and more frequently had SAH as a diagnosis than directly admitted patients (all P < 0.05), though admission neurological and cognitive status was similar. Complications did not differ between transferred and directly admitted patients; however, among transferred patients, longer transfer time was associated with aneurysm rebleed (7.3 vs. 1.8%, P = 0.007) and tracheostomy (20 vs. 17.5%, P = 0.013). In multivariate analysis, after adjusting for other predictors, transferred patients had worse cognitive outcome at 3-months (adjusted OR 12.4, 95% CI 1.2-125.2, P = 0.033) compared to direct admits, though there were no differences in death, disability or length of stay (LOS).


Transferred patients had similar rates of death, disability and LOS as directly admitted patients, though worse 3-month cognitive outcomes. Prolonged time to interhospital transfer was associated with an increased risk of aneurysm rerupture and tracheostomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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