Transforming stroke care: pivotal role of the ambulance services pivotal role

Stroke is the brain equivalent of a heart attack. With 1.9 million neurons being lost every minute, early access to acute care is critical. Ambulance clinicians have a vital role in ensuring the rapid assessment and transfer of patients to an acute stroke centre, as the principle barrier to delivering thrombolysis is enabling treatment within the narrow therapeutic time window. Timely management of transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) reduces mortality, morbidity and use of precious NHS resources. Ambulance services need to develop pathways that embrace the vision of the National Stroke Strategy, risk stratifying patients and facilitating immediate hospital admission or referral to timely clinics.

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