A national medical conference in Sydney has been told that not enough is being done to ensure stroke patients are treated quickly.
New research shows that giving patients medical treatment in an ambulance and sending them to a hospital with a special stroke unit can significantly improve outcomes.
Denis Crimmins from Gosford and Wyong Hospitals on the New South Wales central coast says they have introduced a program which involves ambulance officers giving patients more aggressive treatment before they reach the hospital.
“When someone has a stroke they have a probably a 20 per cent chance of dying from the stroke or a 20 to 30 per cent chance of being left totally disabled,” he said.
“By giving this drug early on we can actually take patients with severe deficits and nearly bring them back to complete normality.”