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Acute stroke centres will "revolutionise" stroke care

The growth of acute stroke care centres and systems of care could revolutionise clinicians' ability to treat patients with stroke, according to an analysis of services published ahead of print in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

The analysis looks at how specialised stroke services across the world have been effective in improving acute and long-term outcomes for patients.

Stroke is the third largest cause of death in the US, Europe, Canada and Japan. In England, around 110,000 people experience a stroke every year and 795,000 in the US.

Over the past decade, new therapeutic options have become available for stroke patients, says the analysis, including organised stroke care and primary stroke centres – specialised facilities which coordinate and promote patient access to the full range of treatments and services associated with stroke prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

The authors conclude: "The development of acute stroke centres and systems of care may revolutionise the medical community's ability to treat patients with stroke. Specialised stroke services have been effective in improving acute and long-term care outcome measures.

"Focusing clinical resources in neurocritical care units and stroke units provides greater specialist care, enhances knowledge in the field, and may also facilitate data collection and enrollment in clinical trials."

Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery