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Sunday 17.11.2019 | Name days: Uga, Hugo, Uģis
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Audit commenced to assess high mortality rates among stroke patients

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Latvia’s Health Inspectorate (HI) has commenced an audit «Assessment of high mortality among stroke patients within 30 days of announcement of diagnosis», as confirmed by Healthcare Ministry’s representative Anna Strapcāne.

According to her, the audit is performed in accordance with the inspectorate’s work plan for 2019. This audit is not associated with the recent publicly reported cases involving stroke patients, including the case when a patient with symptoms of stroke was released from hospital in Rezekne.

Strapcāne notes that the compilation regarding the number of strokes and information from hospitals is planned to be published at the end of November 2019.

Experts had previously said that to reduce high premature mortality rates in Latvia, it is necessary to increase the efficiency of stroke prevention activities.

According to the head of Latvian Medical Association, chief editor of Latvijas Ārsts magazine Pēteris Apinis, Latvia has one of the highest premature mortality indexes in the European Union. One of the biggest contributing factors is stroke. On top of that, when compared to other EU member states, Latvia is in the lead when it comes to hospitalized stroke patients.

Apinis says that in recent years there has been positive dynamic and that mortality from strokes has declined 23% per 100 000 residents between 2010 and 2018. The number of brain strokes has reduced 8% when compared to 2017.

«It is possible this reduction of mortality rates may be related to efficient prevention of strokes – patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, which is one of the main contributing factors to stroke, have had access to clot-buster drugs since 2010. Nevertheless, accessibility of these drugs is limited at the moment, because compensation of such drugs from the state budget was made available from 2018 onward,» said Apinis.

At the same time, Apinis notes that available information shows that in 2018 88% of patients received no anticoagulant therapy before being hospitalized. He said that a study has been performed by Latvia’s Health Economy Association. Its results show that it is much cheaper and easier to prevent stroke than deal with consequences in hospital and provide rehabilitation.


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