More patients from regional and rural areas will be able to access world class stroke treatment, thanks to updated protocols for treating ischaemic stroke patients.
The revised statewide service protocol helps health services identify patients who are suitable for endovascular clot retrieval (ECR), and ensure they are transferred and treated quickly.
ECR (also known as intra-arterial thrombectomy) is a highly effective treatment that reduces disability and death in some patients after an ischaemic stroke. When a large blood clot is found to be blocking blood flow to the brain, a tiny tube is fed into the blocked blood vessel to remove the clot.
In response to new research, the protocols have been updated to expand the window for ECR treatment to up to 24 hours after stroke symptoms develop. This means more patients in regional Victoria will be able to access treatment and improved outcomes.
The protocols help clinicians:
- identify suitable patients for ECR. Not all patients are eligible for ECR – it depends on the type of stroke they have had, how recently the stroke occurred, individual patient risk and other factors.
- transfer patients to ECR centres. ECR is a highly specialised treatment. There are three ECR centres in Victoria with clinicians who have the skills, experience and resources to undertake the treatment.
- start treatment quickly. ECR must be done quickly for best results.
Of the 9,000 people who have a stroke each year in Victoria, about 80 per cent are ischaemic strokes.
Read more information on projects improving outcomes for Victorian stroke patients.