In this multicentre retrospective observational study, the authors analysed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital stroke admissions and in-hospital mortality in tertiary referral hospitals in north-west Spain.
They recorded the number of patients admitted for ischaemic stroke between 30 December 2019 and 3 May 2020, the number of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) and endovascular treatment (EVT) procedures, and in-hospital mortality. In the study period, 2737 patients were admitted with ischaemic stroke. There was a decrease in weekly mean admitted patients during the pandemic (124 vs. 173, p<0.001). In-hospital mortality of stroke patients increased significantly (9.9% vs. 6.5%, p=0.003), but there were no differences in the proportion of IVT (17.3% vs. 16.1%, p=0.405) or EVT (22% vs. 23%, p=0.504). There were regional changes within the network, not fully explained by the severity of the pandemic in different regions.