Rapid response for London stroke patients

Friday, 07 December, 2012


Figures released last month show that over 8,250 suspected stroke patients were taken by ambulance directly to specialist hospitals in London last year.

LAS have been taking patients with a suspected stroke directly to one of eight hyper-acute stroke units (HASUs) in the capital since 2010. Figures for 2011/12 from the Service's stroke annual report also show that the average ambulance journey time to a HASU takes only one minute longer than to the local A&E department.

Medical Director Fionna Moore said: "Our staff are giving patients with stroke the best chance of survival by taking them directly to a hyper-acute stroke unit for specialist care. "Crews will some times bypass local A&E departments, but the slightly longer journey time ultimately means the patient is getting rapid access to the most appropriate treatment.

"Our figures also show that staff checked the blood pressure of 8,670 suspected stroke patients last year. High blood pressure, which can go undiagnosed in a lot of people, is the biggest risk factor for stroke."

London Stroke Clinical Director Professor Anthony Rudd said: "The London Ambulance Service has been a key partner in delivering a stroke service that is now recognised as being one of the best in the world. "We have shown that we are saving more lives and reducing the financial burden to society as a consequence of the changes."

Judy Walker Director, Life After Stroke Services, from the Stroke Association in the South of England said: "At the Stroke Association we support stroke survivors and their family from diagnosis, and throughout their recovery, helping them to re-build their life after stroke.

"By providing this support we have seen that people make a better recovery if their stroke has been treated as an emergency. For this reason, we applaud the tremendous progress that has been made in recent years in London, which has meant more patients get critical
emergency treatment more quickly. The speed with which the London Ambulance Service can get people to hospital is very encouraging and should be a great reassurance to people right across the capital."

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