Stroke in a resource-constrained hospital in Madagascar
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background Stroke is reported as the most frequent cause of in-hospital death in Madagascar. However, no descriptive data on hospitalized stroke patients in the country have been published. In the present study, we sought to investigate the feasibility of collecting data on stroke patients in a resource-constrained hospital in Madagascar. We also aimed to characterize patients hospitalized with stroke. Methods We registered socio-demographics, clinical characteristics, and early outcomes of patients admitted for stroke between 23 September 2014 and 3 December 2014. We used several validated scales for the evaluation. Stroke severity was measured by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), disability by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and function by the Barthel Index (BI). Results We studied 30 patients. Sixteen were males. The median age was 62.5 years (IQR 58–67). The NIHSS and mRS were completed for all of the patients, and BI was used for the survivors. Three patients received a computed tomography (CT) brain scan. The access to laboratory investigations was limited. Electrocardiographs (ECGs) were not performed. The median NIHSS score was 16.5 (IQR 10–35). The in-hospital stroke mortality was 30%. At discharge, the median mRS score was 5 (IQR 4–6), and the median BI score was 45 (IQR 0–72.5). Conclusions Although the access to brain imaging and supporting investigations was deficient, this small-scale study suggests that it is feasible to collect essential data on stroke patients in a resource-constrained hospital in Madagascar. Such data should be useful for improving stroke services and planning further research. The hospitalized stroke patients had severe symptoms. The in-hospital stroke mortality was high. At discharge, the disability category was high, and functional status low.