NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS)
The NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) International is an initiative by national and international government entities as well as private and scholastic organizations. These bodies are dedicated to promoting wellness and better patient care in the field of stroke.
**The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) is a systematic assessment
tool that provides a quantitative measure of stroke-related neurologic deficit.
The NIHSS was originally designed as a research tool to measure baseline data on
patients in acute stroke clinical trials. Now, the scale is also widely used as
a clinical assessment tool to evaluate acuity of stroke patients, determine appropriate
treatment, and predict patient outcome.
The NIHSS can be used as a clinical stroke assessment tool to evaluate and document neurological status in acute stroke patients. The stroke scale is valid for predicting lesion size and can serve as a measure of stroke severity. The NIHSS has been shown to be a predictor of both short and long term outcome of stroke patients. Additionally, the stroke scale serves as a data collection tool for planning patient care and provides a common language for information exchanges among healthcare providers.
The scale is designed to be a simple, valid, and reliable tool that can be administered at the bedside consistently by physicians, nurses or therapists.**
**The NIHSS is a 15-item neurologic examination
stroke scale used to evaluate the effect of acute cerebral infarction on the levels
of consciousness, language, neglect, visual-field loss, extraocular movement, motor
strength, ataxia, dysarthria, and sensory loss. A trained observer rates the patent’s
ability to answer questions and perform activities. Ratings for each item are scored
with 3 to 5 grades with 0 as normal, and there is an allowance for untestable items.
The single patient assessment requires less than 10 minutes to complete.
The evaluation of stroke severity depends upon the ability of the observer to accurately and consistently assess the patient.**
It is our vision to provide all patients the best opportunity
for survival. We believe the “Know Stroke” program gives healthcare providers the
necessary tools to obtain this objective.