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Improving care for stroke patients

by Osler Staff | Oct 14, 2016
woman holds patient  hand in bed

A leading cause of disability in Canada, stroke is a life-threatening disease that requires immediate intervention. Every minute matters. That’s why Osler is pleased to introduce a new protocol for our community, Code Stroke, that brings together the right experts and technology to assess and provide life-saving stroke treatment closer to home.

Applying new technology, Osler launched the Code Stroke protocol in August, enabling clinicians to rapidly assess a suspected stroke at the onset of symptoms and provide treatment for patients in our Emergency Department (ED), and on our inpatient units.

“With stroke, time is brain,” said Dr. Vincenzo Basile, Division Head of Neurology and Physician Lead for the Stroke Program. “Each minute a stroke goes untreated, 1.9 million brain cells die. As such, having a stroke protocol will ensure that our patients have rapid access to vital treatments including tPA (clot busting medication) and/or thrombectomy (clot removing surgery) which increases the likelihood of a full recovery and minimal brain injury. We are very excited to be providing this novel treatment for Osler patients.”

“Ontario’s action plan for healthcare is putting Patients First,” said Kelsang Choeden, Stroke Nurse Practitioner. “What this means for acute stroke patients that walk into Osler’s ED or inpatient unit is that they now have access to the right care. Working collaboratively with the team involved in the hyper acute phase, stroke patients will have improved outcomes and reduced long-term disability.”

The complexities of assessing and treating a stroke require a variety of tools and expertise.  “The implementation of the Code Stroke protocol was the direct result of a collaborative effort between internal and external partners within and beyond Osler,” said Francesca Fiumara, Director, Medicine, Rehabilitation and Complex Continuing Care.  “There are a number of individuals and teams to thank for their tireless efforts.” 

The Code Stroke protocol is part of larger plan to enhance stroke services at Osler, as described in our three-year Clinical Priorities Plan.

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