Don’t forget to refer your artery occlusion patients.

study presented at the 2018 International Stroke Conference showed that eye care providers could do a better job at referring our artery occlusion patients.

The study details:
The study used data from Medicare patients from 2009-2015. They found that of the over 5600 patients with artery occlusions, only 34.1% had cervical carotid imaging, 28.6% had heart rhythm monitoring, and 23.3% had echocardiography. And, unlike most traditional stroke patients, only 8% of these patients were referred to neurology.

Why is referring important?
Because patients with retinal occlusions are at increased risk for a brain infarction. This study showed that 1% of these patients diagnosed with an artery occlusion ended up have a stroke in the following 90 days.

How soon should we be referring our artery occlusion patients?
In an email with the author, he stated, “we recommend that patients have a stroke work-up as soon as possible in order to prevent a second stroke from happening. Thus, within a week would be optimal.”

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