Coverage of the requirements of first and second level stroke unit in Italy

M. Bandettini di Poggio, D. Toni, C. Gandolfo, D. Paolicelli, A. Zini, E. Agostoni, F. Bandini, M. Ragno, M.C. Altavista, A. Bertolotto, G. Siciliano, M. Vecchio, N. Tambasco, A. Gambardella, P. Manganotti, M. Melis, M. Onofrj, G. De Michele, N. Reale, G. TedeschiG.L. Mancardi

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Background and aim: In the scientific literature, there is unanimous consensus that hospitalization in stroke unit (SU) is the most important treatment for stroke patients. In this regard, the Act number 70/2015 by the Italian government identified specific skills that contribute to a classification of SU and outlined a “hub and spoke” stroke network. The aim of our study was to check the coverage of requirements of first and second level SU in the national territory and to shed light on any deficit or misdistribution of resources. Material and methods: In 2019, a survey on the current situation related to stroke care in Italy was carried out by the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN), The Italian Stroke Organization (ISO), and the Association for the Fight against Stroke (A.L.I.Ce). Results: First level SU was found to be 58 against a requirement, according to the Act 70/2015, of 240. Second level SU was found to be 52 compared with an expected requirement of 60. Neurointerventionists were 280 nationally, with a requirement of 240. A misdistribution of resources within individual regions was often seen. Conclusions: The survey demonstrated a severe shortage of beds dedicated to cerebrovascular diseases, mainly because of lack of first level SU, especially in central and southern Italy. It also suggests that the current hub and spoke system is not yet fully implemented across the country and that resources should be better distributed in order to ensure uniform and fair care for all stroke patients on the whole territory. © 2020, The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurol. Sci.
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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