Improving stroke outcomes

Not so long ago, a stroke diagnosis was practically a death sentence. By the time a doctor recognized the symptoms, there wasn't much a physician could do to save the patient. But the recent revolution brought on by clot-busting drugs has radically changed how physicians are able to treat the condition. It has also made it imperative that both physicians and patients recognize and treat symptoms within the first three hours of a stroke. In Nova Scotia, healthcare providers are undertaking the organization of a $7 million integrated stroke system that creates "stroke teams" to provide faster, more effective treatment. Using telemedicine and the latest clot-busting drugs, doctors think they can significantly improve patient survival and recovery rates. "If you do have a stroke, the system is ready for you. An organized stroke-care system has been shown to reduce mortality, disability and institutionalization," noted Alison McDonald, co-chair of the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

For more on effective stroke care:
- read this Chronicle Herald article