Interested talk at the recent annual ALA medical negligence conference in Sydney at which a stroke expert discussed the recently published large study of stroke treatment outcomes.

Such study clearly demonstrated the benefits, in terms of survival chances, of giving patients of any age thrombolytic treatment, if attending:

  • less than 3 hours after stroke onset; and
  • more importantly, even if not, provided still within 3 and 6 hours of their stroke.

The study results were apparently unexpected in that it had been commonly believed that such treatment was less likely to be effective in older patients.

The speaker confirmed that such treatment should be given by suitably trained and experienced medical practitioners…..

The question this raises, for patients suffering stroke in our enormous State, is what about patients who attend hospital at an A+E department (in our far north for example) within this timeframe, but with no reasonable means by which the can be transferred to a major facility within the time window?

Hopefully this is something WA Country Health Services and country hospitals themself have well in hand, both in terms of protocols as to the time for such therapy as well as training for practitioners so it can be administered.

An important issue given stroke is Australia’ 2nd largest cause of death and responsible for 1 in 7 deaths…