by Antonella Cachia, Marketing Executive
An overview of stroke, as a major problem in the UK.
A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Strokes are a medical emergency and it is critical that you get treatment right away to minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and prevent death. To reduce impact on stroke patients, clinicians need accurate data which allows them to ACT, ACCESS and TAKE DECISIONS on the move.
Who is at risk?
According to the State of Nation, Stroke Statistics Reports published in January 2015 by the Stroke Association, stroke occurs approximately 152,000 times a year in the UK - that is one every 3 minutes 27 seconds. Stroke is the fourth single largest cause of death in the UK and currently second in the world. The brain injuries caused by strokes are a major cause of adult disability in the UK. Older people are most at risk of having strokes, although they can happen at any age – including children.
Smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and a poor diet are the main risk factors for stroke, as are high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation and diabetes.
How are stroke patients treated?
Treatment depends on the type of stroke you have, including which part of the brain was affected and what caused it - whether a stroke is caused by a blood clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (ischaemic stroke) or by bleeding in or around the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).
Ischaemic strokes can often be treated using injections of a medication that dissolves blood clots and restores the flow of blood to the brain. This use of 'clot-busting' medication is known as thrombolysis.
Patients treated with thrombolysis quicker have better outcomes. The use of thrombolysis is licensed up to 4.5 hours in the UK and 1.9 million neurons are lost every minute a stroke is untreated. For every 1,000 patients treated with thrombolysis within three hours, about 100 more will be alive and live independently than 1,000 patients not treated with thrombolysis.
How can technology assist better stroke treatment?
When a person is having a stroke, every second counts and can make a big difference between permanent damage or death and a full recovery. Immediate treatment can save people's lives and increase their chances for successful recovery. One of the potential approaches to increase treatment opportunities and improve stroke outcomes is to provide this treatment in a timelier manner after patient arrival. In fact, StrokePad is developed to speed-optimise records for thrombolysis patients as it imperceptibly acquires all relevant information with minimal impact on ‘door-to-needle’ time.
Currently most stroke units use a paper based form to record the myriad of information that needs to be captured during the strict thrombolysis four and a half hour time frame. StrokePad interface has been developed with top stroke clinicians to capture data electronically at any point in time throughout the patient care pathway reducing the risk of error and improving efficiency resulting in better outcomes for stroke patients.
Although the stroke occurrences are high, you can still significantly reduce your risk of having a stroke through a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and stop smoking. However, if you or someone else is having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and call for help. With a stroke, time lost is a brain lost!
Are you ready to know more about the benefits of StrokePad? Visit the product page to learn more.