The Royal Melbourne Hospital has been appointed as the first statewide service to pioneer the roll out of a new breakthrough treatment, Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR), for stroke in Victoria.
Endovascular Clot Retrieval is now recognised by leading experts around the world as the most effective way to treat acute ischemic stroke patients, giving them the best chance of a full recovery.
An ischemic stroke occurs when there is a blockage in a blood vessel suppling blood to the brain. ECR is the ‘gold standard’ of stroke treatment that involves removing blood clots in the brain with a retrievable stent.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital, with its world renowned experts in the field, will be the first designated provider of the ECR procedure in Victoria.
Professor Peter Mitchell, Director Neurointervention Service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, has been appointed Head of the Statewide Endovascular Clot Retrieval Service.
“I am proud to be leading Victoria’s first Statewide Endovascular Clot Retrieval Service,” Professor Mitchell said.
“Timely stroke care is critical in helping a patient recover faster and reducing their chance of disability.
“This new service gives Victorians access to a world-class endovascular clot retrieval service and 24-hour stroke care when they need it most.”
A new state-wide protocol has been developed with the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network, metropolitan and regional hospitals, the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Program, Ambulance Victoria and the National Stroke Foundation.
The protocol will help all hospitals to quickly identify suitable patients for ECR therapy and transfer them to an ECR centre.
In the first quarter of 2016, 65 patients across Victoria received ECR treatment at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. It is anticipated over 360 Victorians will receive ECR by the end of the year.
Stroke continues to be the biggest killer and leading cause of disability in Australia, causing more deaths than breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
About one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. In 2014, more than 13,000 people suffered a stroke in Victoria and 2,954 people died from the disease.
Patients with suspected stroke should be identified using the Face, Arms, Speech, Time (‘FAST’) approach leading to a triple zero (000) call.