Transferring patients with intracerebral hemorrhage does not increase in-hospital mortality

Farhaan Vahidy, Claude Nguyen, Karen C. Albright, Amelia K. Boehme, Osman Mir, Kara A. Sands, Sean I. Savitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Comprehensive stroke centers (CSCs) accept transferred patients from referring hospitals in a given regional area. The transfer process itself has not been studied as a potential factor that may impact outcome. We compared in-hospital mortality and severe disability or death at CSCs between transferred and directly admitted intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) patients of matched severity. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all primary ICH patients from a prospectively-collected stroke registry and electronic medical records, at two tertiary care sites. Patients meeting inclusion criteria were divided into two groups: patients transferred in for a higher level of care and direct presenters. We used propensity scores (PS) to match 175 transfer patients to 175 direct presenters. These patients were taken from a pool of 530 eligible patients, 291 (54.9%) of whom were transferred in for a higher level of care. Severe disability or death was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) sore of 4-6. Mortality and morbidity were compared between the 2 groups using Pearson chi-squared test and Student t test. We fit logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for association between transfer status and in-hospital mortality and severe disability or death in full and PS-matched patients. Results: There were no significant differences in the PS-matched transfer and direct presentation groups. Patients transferred to a regional center were not at higher odds of in-hospital mortality (OR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.50-1.71) and severe disability or death (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.39-1.50), than direct presenters, even after adjustment for PS, age, baseline NIHSS score, and glucose on admission. Conclusion: Our observation suggests that transfer patients of similar disease burden are not at higher risk of in-hospital mortality than direct presenters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0159174
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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