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Guidelines Urge Transfer of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patients

Recommendation based on research suggesting 30-day death rates significantly higher in low-volume facilities vs. facilities treating more than 35 cases per year.

by Larry Beresford

The new “Guidelines for the Management of Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage,” published online May 3 in Stroke, call for hospitals treating fewer than 10 aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) cases per year to consider their immediate transfer to facilities that handle at least 35 such cases annually.1 The recommendation is based on research suggesting that 30-day death rates were significantly higher in low-volume facilities (39%) vs. facilities treating more than 35 cases per year (27%), reflecting the latter’s greater access to cerebrovascular surgeons, endovascular specialists, and neuro-intensive-care services.

This type of hemorrhage accounts for 5% of all strokes and affects more than 30,000 Americans annually.


  1. Connolly ES Jr., Rabinstein AA, Carhuapoma JR, et al. Guidelines for the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a guideline for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2012;43(6):1711-1737.

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October 2014


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ISSN: 1553-085X