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Dash to help - new app to improve stroke treatment
Date:2/17/2012

d to do anything we can to help them make the best decision about their treatment at such a difficult time."

People who have had a stroke in the brain caused by a blood clot can be offered a blood thinning drug treatment known as a thrombolysis. However, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on several factors including the age, weight, severity of stroke and blood pressure of the patient and it carries a risk of a bleed in the site of the clot which could worsen the stroke or cause death.

When this information is put into the app it provides a visual interpretation of the risks and benefits for the patient which are displayed as a coloured pictograph, bar chart or flow diagram which helps the medical team explain the predicted likelihood of recovery, moderate or severe disability, or death with or without thrombolysis.

Professor Richard Thomson, professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Newcastle University's Institute of Health and Society, an expert on involving patients in decisions, said: "Patients and their families helped us to develop how we present the outcomes of treatment and have told us that they feel it helps explain the options to enable them to come to a decision. We are also hearing that it provides medical teams with more information, quickly, and aids their discussions in explaining the benefits and risks clearly to patients and their families."

A suite of applications for desktop, online, smart phone and iPad have been designed and developed created by Newcastle University researchers Dr Darren Flynn, Dr Peter McMeekin and Daniel Nesbitt and are being tested by the RVI stroke team in Newcastle and teams at North Tyneside General Hospital and Wansbeck General Hospital.

DASH II (Development and Assessment of Services for Hyperacute stroke) is one objective of a five year NIHR- Programme Grant for Applied Research, with the overall aim of optimising stroke care and improving patient outcomes.
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Contact: Karen Bidewell
press.office@ncl.ac.uk
44-019-122-26972
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert  

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