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Call to improve stroke treatment

Stroke patients in Britain are still a long way off receiving the best possible care, experts have warned.

Some 30% of patients die within a month of having a stroke, while more than 10% are left with a long-term disability, they claim.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), scientist Helen Rodgers and Professor Richard Thomson of Newcastle University, also called for patients in more "high-risk" categories to undergo drug treatments before a stroke occurs.

They added that there were few studies looking into interventions, such as treating patients with drugs to tackle blood clots, in an effort to minimise the long-term damage of a stroke.

The pair also suggested that Britain's stroke patients are suffering from sub-standard services that are leading some patients to fall through the gaps, limiting rates of survival.

"Service provision focusing on long-term needs is also sparse," they wrote.

"Patients with stroke and their carers often report feeling abandoned after discharge and that they are badly informed and supported, both practically and emotionally."

British Medical Journal

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"Definitely. I think it is vital to have a brainscan and action the result within three hours of the event happening. Long term it will save thousands of pounds in rehab and long-term care, not to mention individual suffering" - Name and address supplied