More patients survive thanks to stroke strategy

Improvements in stroke treatment in Alberta have led to a significant reduction in stroke-related deaths across the province.

  • Oct. 31, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Improvements in stroke treatment in Alberta have led to a significant reduction in stroke-related deaths across the province.

Since the development and implementation of the government’s stroke strategy, mortality rates for patients hospitalized for stroke have declined by about one-third since 2005.

Research compiled since the strategy was initiated also shows that the number of stroke prevention clinics has increased from three to 12, with more than 22,000 patients having received treatment at these clinics.

“Thanks to its proactive approach in prevention and treatment, Alberta has become a leader in Canada in dealing with strokes and their related impacts,” said Health Minister Fred Horne. “This approach has not only reduced the number of deaths associated with those who suffered strokes, it has given Albertans the tools they need to help them prevent suffering in the first place.”

As part of its strategy, Alberta has increased the number of facilities that can administer the clot-busting drug TPA, from five hospitals in 2005 to 18 today, which has helped significantly reduce stroke-related disability across the province.

Mortality rates have dropped 29% for ischemic strokes and 32% for hemorrhagic strokes.

The provincial stroke strategy is a $42.5 million project funded by the Government of Alberta. Key stakeholders include Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT & Nunavut.

“This strategy has made Alberta a national leader in stroke prevention and care, thanks to our partnerships with the Government of Alberta, Heart & Stroke Foundation and the health professionals who care for stroke patients and their families every day,” said Duncan Campbell, acting president and CEO of AHS. “There’s a lot in store for stroke care in Alberta. Our new Cardiovascular Health and Stroke Strategic Clinical Network will play an important role in continuing to improve the care we deliver in all areas of the province.”

Established by AHS, Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) are province-wide teams comprised of health care professionals, researchers, community leaders, patients and policy-makers. Each SCN is dedicated to developing care ‘pathways’ in a specific area of health that will enhance the patient journey, improve outcomes and standardize care delivery across the province.

Donna Hastings, CEO of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT & Nunavut, said she is more than pleased with the significant improvements achieved in the past eight years.

“The strategy has paved the way for continued improvements in the delivery of stroke care across the province,” she said. “We look forward to a vastly more positive health future for Albertans.”

The government and AHS are also preparing to unveil a province-wide plan that will improve access to rehabilitation and other stroke services in rural areas, and standardize stroke care throughout the province, ensuring all patients have access to the most forward-thinking and highest quality stroke care. Details on this plan will be announced in the coming months.

Strokes occur when the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted (ischemic strokes), or when blood vessels in the brain rupture (hemorrhagic strokes), and cause brain cells in the affected area to die. When a patient suffers an ischemic stroke, there’s a four and a half hour window in which treatment will be effective, and the most common treatment is TPA.

– Vossen

 

Just Posted

Generals run away in third to win 5-2 over Ft. Sask

Lacombe looking for the four-game sweep in Ft. Sask on Sunday

Community invited to check out local Toastmasters’ group

New members are sought for the Club to continue past March

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr talks tourism opportunities at Chamber lunch

Stakeholders must take advantage of the Lacombe region’s many selling points

Alberta judge cleared in case where sex assault victim was shackled, jailed

Judicial council: Judge Raymond Bodnarek acted on Crown’s advice, tried to minimize victim’s hardship

Breton/Thorsby RCMP investigate theft of boat

RCMP say stolen jet boat and trailer valued at approximately $80,000

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Most Read