International recognition for fight against stroke
19 October 2022
The stroke unit at Sale Hospital has been recognised with a prestigious World Stroke Organisation (WSO) Angels Gold Status Award for meeting the highest standards in stroke treatment and care.
The Angels initiative, a partnership between the World Stroke Organisation, European Stroke Organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim, aims to optimise the standard of treatment in stroke centres worldwide and improve patient outcomes by setting global benchmarks for best practice stroke care.
Central Gippsland Health (CGH) Chief Executive Officer, Mark Dykgraaf said achieving WSO Gold Status was a testament to a team effort to enhance stroke care in the local area.
“Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency where blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced,” Mr Dykgraaf explained. “With each minute that goes by more brain cells can be lost and the risk of disability and death increases.
“Acting swiftly on the signs of stroke and implementing best practice care requires coordination between ambulance, emergency department, radiology and stroke unit staff.”
Due to the complex nature of this disease, stroke can be difficult to diagnose and manage. Programs like the Angels Initiative prompts healthcare providers like Sale Hospital to improve and provide the best care they can in any given individual circumstance.
Training, protocols and the performance of Sale Hospital’s stroke unit were assessed as part of the Angels Initiative, which includes a target of restoring blood-flow to the brain to more than half of eligible patients within 60 minutes of their hospital arrival.
“Ensuring appropriate patients receive clot busting therapy within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital door is the gold standard and means that more people will survive and live well after stroke,” Mr Dykgraaf said.
“The WSO Gold Status recognises our hard work to date but the efforts in improving the knowledge and skills of our staff in the fight against stroke will be ongoing.”
In regional Australia, rates of stroke are higher and health systems must contend with the challenge of providing access to treatment and care over significant distances.
A major report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Stroke Foundation, highlights that people living in regional Australia are 17 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than those living in metropolitan areas.
To achieve WSO Gold Status a hospital must demonstrate a range of outcomes, including optimum time to treatment, coordinated care, appropriate scans and screening, and ensuring patients are discharged from hospital on medications to minimise the risk of further stroke.
The Angels initiative Medical Project Manager in Australia, Kim Malkin, said every step toward improving care and outcomes for stroke patients was worth celebrating, as there were approximately 38,000 stroke events across Australia each year – around 100 every day.
“Every hospital that achieves WSO Angels Gold status should be justifiably proud, as should the communities they serve,” she said.
For more information contact Tracy VanderZalm of Wordwise Communications on 0447 491 345.