Monday, 19 September 2016
Announcing the extension, Health Minister John Day said up to 200 Western Australian stroke victims were expected to benefit each year, greatly enhancing the existing stroke service with a world-leading treatment.
"This will be life-changing for hundreds of people. Stroke is our leading cause of disability and one of WA's biggest killers, with rapid treatment crucial to recovery," Mr Day said.
"Establishing a round-the-clock service is the culmination of two years of planning, with hundreds of paramedics trained in early diagnosis and protocols to fast-track patients to expanded stroke treatment services at Sir Charles Gairdner (SCGH) and Fiona Stanley hospitals.
"Additional specialist trained staff will be employed to extend the existing service, which will help reduce stroke's devastating impact on Western Australian families and the economy.
"It will be only the second service of this type in Australia enhancing our existing stroke service, following the expansion of a similar service in Melbourne earlier this year, and is one of just a handful worldwide."
The majority of strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking a major brain artery, starving part of the brain of oxygen. An endovascular intervention, known as a thrombectomy, involves a tiny device inserted through the femoral artery in the thigh and navigated into the brain to remove the clot before it causes further damage, including paralysis and loss of speech.
"So far this year, our highly skilled neuroradiologists, working with our neurology and rehabilitation teams, have conducted more than 60 procedures but that figure is expected to rise sharply with the 24 hour service," the Minister said.
"At present, the service operates at SCGH, with the Fiona Stanley service expected to be open early in the New Year."
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