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Stroke Pathways - PenCHORD
Modelling approaches to the delivery of thrombolysis for acute ischaemic stroke
An ischaemic stroke is caused by the formation of a clot in blood vessels, preventing blood from reaching the brain. This leads to the death of brain cells, due to lack of ischaemia (oxygen). Approximately 110,000 people in England have a stroke every year and it is the third largest cause of death. Around half of those who have suffered a stroke in England are dependent on other people for help with everyday activities.
In hospitals in Devon and Cornwall, around 1.5% of the 2,700 annual admissions with acute stroke are treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). RtPA is a drug used to dissolve the blood clot and re-open the artery (a process known as thrombolysis). Its current 'therapeutic window' is three hours from the onset of symptoms. National targets are for 10% of patients who suffer an acute stroke to receive thrombolysis. One of the main barriers in the administration of these drugs is time. Treatment can be delayed if patients do not arrive at hospitals swiftly following the onset of symptoms, or if care is held up once they have been admitted.Find out more