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York Hospital administers ‘clot busting’ drug to 200th patient

Staff at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have exceeded Government targets and administered a clot-busting drug to their 200th stroke patient, a treatment which can potentially prevent further damage to the brain.

The process, known as thrombolysis, has been available at the hospital since 2008 and is now accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The service is led by specially trained Consultants who are supported by a team of experienced senior nurses.

A drug is used to dissolve the clot in the brain and thus prevent further damage. The sooner the treatment is administered the better, as it increases the chances of a good recovery.

Lead Stroke Nurse Carol Croser said: "The twenty-four hour, seven day week service is having a huge positive impact on the care we provide, allowing us to see and treat more patients. Thirty percent of patients will make a better recovery with the drug than without it. I am very proud of the team and of the service we provide."

The Trust has seen a steady annual increase in the numbers of patients presenting in time for thrombolysis and the Trust now exceeds the new Government target of ten percent.

Speaking about the treatment in more depth Carol said: "Time is brain, so the quicker the drug is administered the better, ideally within 4 and a half hours of stroke symptoms starting. Ambulance crews alert the stroke team when a patient has been picked up with stroke symptoms and we arrange to meet them as they arrive in the Emergency Department. The patient is quickly assessed and they have a brain scan. We aim to deliver the drug within 30 minutes of a patient arriving at hospital. The drug isn't suitable for everyone and is available in a growing number of hospitals in the UK."

Team effort: Pictured are some members of the Stroke team, from left to right: Stroke Physician and Clinical Lead Dr John Coyle, Hyper Acute Stroke Nurse Lesley Pocock, Acute Stroke Unit Ward Sister Sandra Hindmarsh and Lead Stroke Nurse Carol Croser

For further information contact Holly Kernot, assistant media and communications officer on 01904 7215233 or holly.kernot@york.nhs.uk

30 July 2013

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