Over 30 years of ambition have revolutionized stroke care in Canada

Stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery from stroke have changed dramatically over the past few decades as a result of medical discoveries, increased awareness, and improvements in care systems.

MONTREAL, June 1, 2022 /CNW/ — However, the need for stroke-related treatments and services is also increasing, and there is still much work to be done to improve recognition of the signs of stroke.

“Advances in stroke care are monumental,” said Patrice Lindsay, Director, Health System Change, Heart & Stroke. If someone had a stroke a little over 30 years ago, there was practically nothing that could be done for them. The reality is no longer the same: today there are so many things that can be done to treat stroke and promote recovery. »

Canada is a world leader in batting innovation. World-class research and coordinated systems of stroke care have led to increased prevention, improved diagnosis, more life-saving treatments, optimized rehabilitation and expanded recovery support.

Today, the number of strokes in the country continues to rise. According to new data, more than 89,000 strokes occur every year. This increase is due to the aging of the population (age is a risk factor for stroke) and the fact that younger people are experiencing stroke (probably due to an increase in risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, poor diet and lack of exercise). ). The number of people living with the consequences of a stroke has risen to 878,000 in the country.

“Stroke survivors are on the rise thanks to increased public awareness of the signs of this medical emergency and the need to call 9-1-1 immediately. In addition, we now have the systems in place to provide people who have had a stroke with the right care, in the right hospital, at the right time,” says Dr. Thalia Field, Vancouver Stroke Program neurologist and Heart & Stroke funded researcher.

Nathan Pryor was 38 and in great shape; He was working out at his fitness center in Halifax when he suffered a stroke. One of the center’s personal trainers recognized the signs of the stroke and called 9-1-1. Nathan was rushed to the hospital by ambulance in record time, where a team of stroke specialists was waiting for him. He underwent a CT scan, received a drug that can dissolve blood clots, and then underwent an endovascular thrombectomy (ET), a procedure in which clots are removed from blood vessels using a digestible stent, which is transported through the blood vessels to the brain will. Nathan regained feeling almost immediately and gave his doctor a thumbs up. He was discharged from the hospital after a few days.

“What I take away from this experience is that stroke can strike anyone and it is critical that people are able to recognize the signs of stroke and understand the importance of prompt treatment. Because of this, I have no serious consequences; I was treated as quickly as possible,” says Nathan.

advances in stroke

Heart & Stroke has played a critical role in advancing stroke by funding research, raising awareness, driving change in stroke care systems across the country, and advocating for better public health.

Here are some examples of the advances that have been made in stroke prevention, education, treatment and healing over the past 30-40 years.

Medical Discoveries

1999 A new life-saving drug that can dissolve blood clots and treat ischemic strokes is being developed. Among patients with ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke), those treated early with alteplase (t-PA), a drug that can dissolve blood clots, are 30% more likely to have a minor disability or even in patients without a stroke get along without disability.

2000 Studies show that angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure (hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the main risk factor for stroke).

2015 The ESCAPE trial is focused on ET, which is used to treat severe stroke by removing clots from blood vessels with a retrievable stent. This new treatment, which reduces mortality by 50% and promotes better recovery, was included in Heart & Stroke’s Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care within weeks of the test results being published.

2016 The INTERSTROKE study highlights the ten risk factors responsible for 90% of strokes worldwide.

2020 CanStroke is the first-ever national clinical trials platform focused on stroke recovery. It brings together researchers from across the country to test and accelerate discoveries.

Improving stroke care systems

2000 The Canadian Stroke Network was formed to fund research and promote excellence in care and service.

2004 The Canadian Stroke Strategy is revolutionizing stroke management with a new integrated approach to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

2006 Canada’s stroke best practice recommendations ensure accelerated and widespread adoption of advances in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation across the country.

2009 by 2022 The number of hospitals:

• increased from 74 to 155 (81 more) with Stroke teams;

• increased from 58 to 95 with lifting units (37 more);

• Telestroke offer increased from 71 to 307 (236 more);

• Increased provision of t-PA from 153 to 232 (79 more);

• Increased TE offer from 0 to 25.

education, information and support

– Since 2014, the VITE campaign has been helping people recognize the most common signs of stroke and take quick action.

visage – is it saggy?
IAbility – Can you raise both arms normally?
TLanguage ruble – pronunciation disorder?
EExtreme Emergency – Dial 9-1-1.

– Stroke resources, webinars and programs, and support are available for people living with the consequences of stroke and their caregivers.

Despite the progress that has been made, much more needs to be done to prevent stroke, raise awareness and ensure equal access to care across the country. Despite growing public awareness, a recent survey found that four out of ten people are unaware of the FAST signs of a stroke. Geographic location and socioeconomic status are barriers to obtaining specialized stroke treatment and care. The majority of people who suffer a stroke require ongoing recovery support. Even if the municipalities have excellent resources, these are insufficient and are mainly located in the large centers. There are also barriers of awareness, access and cost. In addition, people from certain demographic groups are disproportionately affected: women have greater subsequent harm than men, and indigenous communities face higher rates of stroke and heart disease, in addition to facing barriers to accessing optimal care.

Publication of the health index: 06/01/2022 – Number of visits since publication: 222

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