NEW software installed on CT scanners at Bathurst Base Hospital is helping boost the recovery chances of local people who have suffered a stroke.
The software allows stroke radiology teams to accurately identify both the brain tissue that has been irreversibly damaged by a blood clot but also the brain tissue that could be saved if the blood clot was removed.
The software has also been installed in Orange and Dubbo, and Orange Health Service neurologist Dr Rami Haddad said it was identifying suitable patients for “mechanical clot removal”.
Orange and Bathurst Health Services stroke care co-ordinator Fiona Ryan said suitable patients were now being transferred to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for specialist treatment.
Twelve Bathurst stroke patients have been transferred to RPA in the past year, up from five the previous year.
“With pathways to treatment linked with Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, patients who meet the strict criteria for manual endovascular clot retrieval are able to be transferred to RPAH, assessed further by a dedicated team of neurovascular surgeons and neurologists and have the clot removed, re-establishing normal blood flow,” Ms Ryan said.
“The RAPID software is capable in many cases of confirming the presence of acute stoke when a person visually reading the CT brain scan cannot, which helps in cases where the diagnosis is not clear.
“Through new research and the installation of this software we are now able to select suitable patients up to 24 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms to have this treatment. Previously we only had a six hour window after the onset of symptoms.”
Ms Ryan said stroke care was developing across the Western NSW LHD with patients now having access to the latest care developments.
“However, it is vital to ring an ambulance immediately if you, or someone you are with, is experiencing stroke symptoms,” she said.
“The best outcomes for stroke are achieved when treatment is provided as soon as possible after symptoms start.”