Monday, 16 May 2016

State government grant enables better outcomes for stroke patients at Monash

Associate Professor Henry Ma
Stroke care and patient outcomes are set to improve as Monash Stroke receives a Stroke Clinical Registry Initiative Grant to help implement a clinical registry at Monash Health.

Monash Health has recently joined the Australian clinical stroke registry (AuSCR), a nation-wide clinical registry for stroke patients.

“As the second designated endovascular clot retrieval (ECR) site in Melbourne—the Royal Melbourne Hospital is the other—we need to ensure best patient care and outcomes,” said Monash University Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor Henry Ma, who is also the Director of Stroke Unit at Monash Health.

ECR is a highly effective treatment to restore blood flow to the brain in patients affected by ischaemic stroke who meet specific eligibility criteria.

“While intravenous thrombolysis has been used in ischaemic stroke to dissolve blood clots since the late 1990s, recent studies have shown this treatment can’t break down the larger clots that cause the most devastating strokes,” said Associate Professor Ma.

In 2015 five landmark studies of an innovative approach to stroke treatment were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealing ECR (in which the large clot blocking a brain vessel is removed through an intra-arterial approach) to be highly successful.

“The AuSCR will benchmark our stroke care outcomes with other hospitals nationally and will incorporate ECR data.”

Professor Ma said it is vital to monitor ECR data given it’s a new therapy and stroke specialists still have a lot to learn.

 “We plan to use a mobile app to collect data in real time, and this grant will help us develop the app and other required logistics and infrastructure.”

Associate Professor Ma and Associate Professor Ronil Chandra are members of the Department of Health and Human Services ECR monitoring committee to ensure good practice and outcomes.

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