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Partnership Working Towards National Service Framework for Stroke Care in the Island 10 November 2008

The Department of Health and Social Security have joined together with the Manx Stroke Foundation to implement a new National Strategy for Stroke Care on the Isle of Man. The strategy aims to provide quicker access and treatment for people suffering from a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) here on the Island.

The first initiative of the strategy is already in place and is new procedure for immediate stroke care, similar to the current procedure for people suffering from a heart attack. The initiative aims to inform Isle of Man residents that if it is thought that someone is suffering from either a stroke or TIA, the public are encouraged to dial 999 for an emergency response immediately, as early diagnosis and treatment can dramatically reduce the effects of an attack. Ambulance crews have recently undertaken additional training in relation to stroke care and, if a person is believed to be at risk after an initial assessment, the patient will be transferred immediately to Noble’s A&E.

Steve Sieling, Chief Ambulance Officer said,

“Just like heart attack victims, sufferers of a stroke or TIA could be saved, or have their quality of life improved, by rapid assessment and treatment. What we need to achieve in the Isle of Man is to have people calling for our services a lot earlier - if they believe a person is suffering from a stroke. This new stroke procedure is similar to that of the procedure followed for heart attack victims and, as a result, we are now encouraging the use of the term Brain Attack when referring to these conditions.”

Steve Sieling added,

“The Ambulance service will also be promoting a quick and easy Stroke and TIA assessment process known as FAST, and it encourages anyone who witnesses someone with Facial weakness, Arm weakness or are having problems with their Speech to Test all three and if stroke symptoms are present, call 999. Further details regarding FAST are available from Ambulance HQ by ringing the Admin line 642582 and leaving your details.”

Rapid Access TIA clinics have been set up in Noble’s Hospital for faster assessment and management of TIA patients. Dr J. Thomas, consultant Physician and Geriatrician, is leading the stroke services at the Hospital.

Dr. Thomas said,

“Stroke is third on the list of major killers after heart attacks and cancer and is the number one cause for long-term disability in adults. There is robust evidence that timely intervention can prevent these outcomes, including preventable care home placements. Hopefully, this new initiative will go some way to reducing the number of deaths and disabilities caused by strokes and TIA’s.”

Terry Chilcott, spokesperson for the Manx Stroke Foundation said,

“The Manx Stroke Foundation heartily endorses this new initiative. The quicker the emergency response for a person suffering from a stroke or TIA the better, as this could result in a life being saved, or reduce the likelihood of long term disability.”

The Manx Stroke Foundation provides support and assistance to patients and their carers, as well supporting and funding initiatives and equipment for statutory services.

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