Dear friends and colleagues,

Professor Peter Langhorne from Glasgow, Prof. Jeyaraj Durai Pandian from Punjab, India, and Dr. De Villiers from Cape Town, South Africa have compiled the essentials necessary for stroke unit care. They stress that a concept of stroke unit care is now well described in the literature and well established in many western countries. It is seen as the “core” of a modern stroke service. The dwindling increase of stroke incidence and mortality reported from many poorer countries[1] demands that such stroke care units are also generously set up in developing regions of the world. Thus, it is important to understand the single components of effective stroke unit care in order to compile a list of “must-haves,” whereas other items might be recommendable but not necessarily included in the bare essentials. Prof. Peter Langhorne was among the very first to look at those components and to single out their effectivity; some years ago, he wrote a textbook on stroke unit care which is still in demand.[2] In this updated WSA module, he and his co-authors compress their knowledge to very precise recommendations. Multidisciplinarity, key staff, facilities, and typical processes of care are described in a concise fashion. Only few data come from poorer countries themselves, mostly single-center experiences[3] to complement such recommendations. Nowhere today are the essentials of stroke unit care described in such a concise and didactically appealing way.

The new WSA Learning Activity can be accessed here.

  • Michael Brainin, MD

  • WSA, Editor-in-Chief


  1. Top of page
  2. References
  • 1
    Feigin VL, Lawes CMM, Bennet DA, Parag V. Worldwide stroke incidence and early case fatality reported in 56 population-based studies: a systematic review. Lancet Neurol 2009;8:355369.
  • 2
    Langhorne P, Dennis MS. Stroke Units: An Evidence-based Approach. London: BMJ Publishing, 1998.
  • 3
    Brainin M, Teuschl Y, Kalra L. Acute treatment and long-term management of stroke in developing countries. Lancet Neurol 2007;6:553561.