St George's Leads The Way In New Treatment Of Strokes

To benefit thousands of patients across the country

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An emergency treatment for stroke patients used at St George’s Hospital is being rolled out to other centres across the UK, benefiting an estimated 8,000 patients.

NHS England announced last week that it will commission mechanical thrombectomy so it can become more widely available for patients who have certain types of acute ischaemic stroke.

Acute stroke is a severe form of the condition where a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked, often leading to long-term disability. A mechanical thrombectomy is a surgical procedure which involves surgically removing blood clots blocking blood flow to the brain.

The procedure has been shown in clinical trials to improve significantly patient survival and quality of life, by restoring blood flow and therefore limiting brain damage.

Last year St George’s became the first hospital in the UK to have a fully staffed 24/7 thrombectomy service for acute stroke.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Jeremy Madigan, Consultant Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiologist at St George’s, said, “This is great news for patients. At St George’s, our patients are benefiting from the thrombectomy service we provide – with an 80-90% chance of opening up blocked vessels via this technique, compared to 30% with traditional clot-busting drugs. Patients with acute stroke require a range of different interventions, but providing a thrombectomy service – including at all times of the day, as we do at St George’s – radically improves the range and mix of interventions available to us as clinicians.”

Work by NHS England is now underway to assess the readiness of each of the 24 neuroscience centres across the country which are set to introduce the service. It is expected the treatment will start to be phased in later in this year with an estimated 1,000 patients set to benefit across the first year of introduction.

April 16, 2017

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