Neurologia (Barcelona, Spain) 2015 11 0232(3) 152-157 pii S0213-4853(15)00209-1
In-hospital consultations (IHC) are essential in clinical practice in tertiary hospitals. The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of neurological IHCs.
PATIENTS AND METHOD
One-year retrospective descriptive study of neurological IHCs conducted from May 2013 to April 2014 at our tertiary hospital.
A total of 472 patients were included (mean age, 62.1 years; male patients, 56.8%) and 24.4% had previously been evaluated by a neurologist. Patients were hospitalised a median of 18 days and 19.7% had been referred by another hospital. The departments requesting the most in-hospital consultations were intensive care (20.1%), internal medicine (14.4%), and cardiology (9.1%). Reasons for requesting an IHC were stroke (26.9%), epilepsy (20.6%), and confusional states (7.6%). An on-call neurologist evaluated 41.9% of the patients. The purpose of the IHC was to provide a diagnosis in 56.3% and treatment in 28.2% of the cases; 69.5% of the patients required additional tests. Treatment was adjusted in 18.9% of patients and additional drugs were administered to 27.3%. While 62.1% of cases required no additional IHCs, 11% required further assessment, and 4.9% were transferred to the neurology department. Of the patient total, 16.9% died during hospitalisation (in 37.5%, the purpose of the consultation was to certify brain death); 45.6% were referred to the neurology department at discharge and 6.1% visited the emergency department due to neurological impairment within 6 months of discharge.
IHCs facilitate diagnosis and management of patients with neurological diseases, which may help reduce the number of visits to the emergency department. On-call neurologists are essential in tertiary hospitals, and they are frequently asked to diagnose brain death.