Calls for nationwide 24-hour stroke services

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“I had the thrombectomy on Sunday morning, the physio team were working on me on Monday morning and I walked out of the hospital on Monday afternoon. It was incredible, but it is a postcode lottery.” Peter Hooper, 63, suffered a stroke in June 2020 and spoke to The Guardian.

It is well known that the quicker a stroke is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of a recovery. Whilst there are different types of strokes, the most common is caused by a blood clot cutting off blood supply to the brain, known as an ischaemic stroke.

It is understood that the most effective treatment in reducing life-changing injuries is a mechanical thrombectomy, along with clot-busting medication. However, to be so effective, it must be performed within six hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.

This is why patients and doctors alike are calling for wider access to such therapy on a 24-hour basis.

Consultant neuroradiologist Dr Sanjeev Nayak, who set up the first 24-hour mechanical thrombectomy service at Royal Stoke University Hospital, commented: “There are still thousands of patients who are missing out on this treatment. They could be walking out of the hospital, and they are being disabled or they are dead because of lack of access to this lifesaving procedure.”

The NHS is taking steps to improve this service across the nation as well as looking into the use of AI tools and video triaging with ambulance teams to speed up diagnosis and access to the right treatment in time.

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