2,158 cerebrovascular accident cases admitted to an active unit for geriatric diseases between 1954 and 1970 were studied with respect to their functional improvement during their hospital stay. Two features are characteristic of the policy in this unit in treating cerebrovascular accidents: (1) a liberal policy of immediate admission of all cerebrovascular accidents, irrespective of age, date of stroke, etc., (2) promoting an integrated programme of medical and rehabilitation care which begins as soon as possible after the diagnosis is established. 42% of all patients were admitted within the first 24 h of the stroke and another 35% from the 1st to 6th day of the event. The average stay was significantly shorter for early than for late admissions: 27.1 vs. 38.6 days for patients with cerebral thrombosis, and 28.3 vs. 57.5 for those with cerebral embolism. Approximately 53 % of early admissions were evaluated as fully rehabilitated at their discharge, as against only 28% of late admissions; bed/chair-fast patients at the time of discharge amounted to 10.6% of early admitted patients in contrast to 25.9 % of the late admission group. It seems that the early admission of cerebrovascular accidents, and prompt and adequate combined medical and rehabilitation care in a stroke-orientated and dedicated unit, are among the most important factors in improving function in these patients.

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