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Operational research seeks benefit for stroke victims
Date:2/15/2012

Researchers from the University of Exeter, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), are working with clinicians from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) to reduce the time it takes from the start of a stroke to the administration of vital clot-busting drug treatment.

The researchers are from the PCMD-based National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Peninsula Collaboration for Health, Operational Research and Development (PenCHORD), which is part of the NIHR Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership and Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC).

The study is investigating the whole process of emergency treatment that follows when a person suffers an acute stroke from a blocked artery in the brain. For most patients in this situation, the earliest possible administration of the clot-busting drug Alteplase can greatly improve their chances of recovery called thrombolysis. The drug is currently licensed for delivery up to three hours from the onset of a stroke, but in that time the patient needs to call an ambulance, get to hospital, have a brain scan, and be assessed by specialists before receiving the treatment.

The research team is working with healthcare professionals from SWASFT and the RD&E to analyse the various steps by which a stroke patient is identified, transported to hospital and treated. This includes paramedics, the emergency department (ED) team, triage nurses, the acute stroke team and the radiology department (which performs the brain scans).

By investigating what happens 'on the ground', researchers have been able to create computer simulations that imitate the various permutations of stroke victim identification, transport, arrival at hospital and treatment.

The computer model takes into account the number and level of healthcare professionals involved with each case, the time of day or nigh
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Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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