Canadians are not recognizing the symptoms of stroke
OTTAWA, June 16, 2011 /CNW/ - A major national Canadian study on the
quality of stroke care released today by the Canadian Stroke Network
(CSN), one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, finds that
there is significant work to be done to improve prevention, treatment
and recovery from stroke.
The study's key findings include:
Two thirds of stroke patients admitted to hospital do not arrive in time
to receive the best possible stroke care.
Stroke patients need greater access to stroke units;
77% of stroke patients do not receive treatment in a stroke unit.
When patients arrive at hospital, they are not treated fast enough;
Only 40% of patients who arrived within 3.5 hours of symptom onset
received a CT (computed tomography) or MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
scan within an hour of arrival.
Patients receive good care in hospital but several aspects of stroke
care need to be significantly improved;
Only 12% of ischemic stroke patients admitted to a hospital with the
capability to administer the important clot dissolving drug tPA were
treated with the drug. Based on tPA rates at some of Canada's top
stroke centres, the target number could be triple the current rate for
those ischemic strokes that arrive within the 3.5-hour window.
Only 22% of the hospitals studied were affiliated with a secondary
stroke prevention clinic.
Access to rehabilitation is vital;
Only 37% of moderate to severe strokes cases are discharged to a
"The Quality of Stroke Care in Canada could not be timelier," says Dr. Robert Côté, Chair of the study's
National Steering Committee and a Professor at McGill University. "The
results of this study should be used to prioritize investments in
stroke care and improve and monitor the quality of stroke care for all
Canadians. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the main
cause of neurological disability in Canada. The study will be of great
value to our health system."
"The study's findings and recommendations are a 'call to action' to the
Canadian stroke care community," says Dr. Moira Kapral, a national
steering committee member and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine
and Department of Health, Policy Management and Evaluation at the
University of Toronto. "There needs to be a greater emphasis on
improving the public's awareness about the early signs and symptoms of
stroke and the importance of calling 9-1-1 and having an ambulance
bring them to hospital immediately."
The study looked at the quality of stroke care provided in emergency
response, in-hospital care and in rehabilitation and recovery.
Anonymous information from patients' records was used and included:
time of stroke symptom onset, timeliness of emergency medical system
access, treatment received in the emergency department, acute inpatient
care and information related to patient discharge from the acute care
"We are extremely pleased with the results of the study because it
illustrates what can be achieved in stroke care in Canada. If Canada
invests now in innovative and sustainable stroke care systems and
programs—we will achieve real benefits such as saving more lives and
reducing the impact of stroke," says Dr. Antoine Hakim, CEO and
Scientific Director of the Canadian Stroke Network.
The study included data from all health jurisdictions in Canada
including government and health systems.
To view the The Quality of Stroke Care in Canada and Backgrounder please go to:
About the Canadian Stroke Network (www.canadianstrokenetwork.ca)
The Canadian Stroke Network includes more than 100 of Canada's leading
scientists and clinicians from 24 universities who work collaboratively
on various aspects of stroke. The Network, which is headquartered at
the University of Ottawa, also includes partners from industry, the
non-profit sector, provincial and federal governments. The Canadian
Stroke Network, one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, is
committed to reducing the physical, social and economic impact of
stroke on the lives of individual Canadians and on society as a whole.
SOURCE CANADIAN STROKE NETWORK
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