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Tele-medicine delivers specialist stroke therapy 24/7

Thursday, 24 May 2018

People who suffer a stroke now have access to specialist thrombolysis treatment at Noble’s Hospital round-the-clock.

Additional funding has secured a new tele-stroke thrombolysis service through a partnership with the Royal Liverpool Hospital. It means that clot-busting drug intervention is offered out-of-hours in the Isle of Man for the first time.

It’s important that a consultant reads a patient’s scan as soon as possible after a stroke, to decide whether the individual can benefit from thrombolysis. Under the new initiative, consultants in Liverpool will examine images remotely and liaise with specialist stroke nursing staff at Noble’s via a video link.

Four extra nurses have been recruited to the stroke team to help run the 24-hour service. They have already made use of the new facility, accessing specialist consultants and making a speedy decision on diagnosis and hospital admission.

Lead nurse for stoke Gillian Horsey said:

‘The key to a good recovery from stroke is early detection and rapid treatment. I would urge anyone who witnesses stroke symptoms or who thinks they are having a stroke to dial 999.

‘Our enhanced service at weekends and evenings is good news for patients. A small proportion of those who suffer a stroke are suitable for thrombolysis but with this extended service we will be able to ensure that all those who are suitable receive it.’

Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford MHK said:

‘This initiative brings a welcome deployment of tele-medicine on the front line of healthcare. The development will allow us to work smarter, tapping into expertise off-island quickly and efficiently.

‘A stroke can leave patients with long-term disabilities, which require a host of other services and support. The investment in this project will benefit not only the individual but their families and the wider community.’ 

A stroke awareness campaign has been organised to coincide with the start of the tele-stroke thrombolysis service. Display boards and leaflets at Noble’s and Ramsey District Cottage Hospitals will promote the new service and information packs outlining the new pathway will be sent to all GPs.

The initiative has the backing of the Manx Stroke Foundation which is promoting the FAST campaign designed by the Stroke Association. FAST provides information about how to recognise  a stroke and gives advice on what to do.  The acronym spells out symptoms to watch for - Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties - and Time to call 999. 

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