Caribbean Medical Journal (Apr 2022)

A Short Report on Strokes at San Fernando General Hospital

  • Adrian Alexander


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Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and disability globally and has been noted to have an increased incidence in developing countries. Despite being a highly prevalent non-communicable disease only limited data currently exist in Trinidad and Tobago. A cross-sectional study was done as an audit to assess stroke admissions for all patients older than 16 years old at San Fernando General Hospital. During the period 28th October, 2020 to 8th January, 2021 (72 days) there were 411 total stroke admissions (5.6 strokes per day). This consisted of 56.4% females and 43.6% males with the majority between the ages of 50 to 80 years for both sexes. Most stroke admissions were of Indo-Trinidadian ethnicity (60.2%) followed by Afro-Trinidadian (35.3%). Of the total stroke admissions 91.1% were found to be ischemic with 2.0% TIAs, and 5.9% hemorrhagic. Hypertension was the most common comorbidity found in stroke patients followed by diabetes mellitus at 77% and 51% respectively. Of the total stroke admissions, 34% had previous strokes. Length of stay averaged 5.3 days with a standard deviation of 9 days. The derived estimate of 347 strokes per 100,000 per year is comparable to the highest incidence globally. This high incidence was revealed despite factors that may lead the overall total to be an underestimate (only one hospital’s region included and data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic). This preliminary study can be utilized to understand the burden of illness of stroke within one of the major hospitals in Trinidad and Tobago.