July 4, 2008

Technology Improves the Stroke Survival Rate

EVERY year, an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. It is also a leading cause of severe adult disability. More than 250,000 people live with disabilities caused by a stroke.

Sixty years ago, anyone suffering a stroke had a small chance of survival and those who did survive were often severely affected for life. Advances in modern technology, such as CT scanners that can speed up diagnosis, have greatly improved the chances of making a full recovery from stroke.

At Northumbria Healthcare our stroke services have been recognised nationally. North Tyneside Hospital has been rated as the top hospital for strokes in the North East and has provided a model of care for Hexham and Ashington hospitals.

Each of these hospitals now provide combined acute and rehabilitation care that has been proven to help speed up patients' recovery time by giving them access to the highest quality care, including expert clinical assessment, rapid imaging and the ability to deliver thrombolysis where appropriate.

Stroke unit care delivered by a specialist multidisciplinary team is the single biggest factor that can improve a person's outcomes following stroke.

Focusing all stroke care on one unit allows patients to spend the majority of their time in hospital being cared for by a dedicated team who have the necessary expertise to address the respiratory, swallowing, dietary, mobility and communication difficulties that can arise after stroke.

Health professionals at Northumbria Healthcare founded Stroke Northumbria, a network of dedicated staff from all areas of health and social care, bringing together a service that works across organisations and boundaries. This network provides a solid foundation to give patients the best possible continuity of care and allows staff to share resources.

About a third of all people having a stroke are likely to make a significant recover y.

(c) 2008 The Journal - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.