In Canada, there is one stroke approximately every five minutes. For the best patient outcomes, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospitals need to be ready to ensure patients receive the right care in a timely way. In Northwestern Ontario, EMS and Emergency Departments have enhanced stroke assessment by using screening tools to identify severe stroke. These tools identify patients who may benefit from endovascular thrombectomy (EVT).
EVT is a treatment for acute ischemic stroke that uses a small tube, a guide wire and stent to remove large stroke-causing clots from the brain. The EVT procedure requires specialized equipment and a coordinated team approach to ensure success. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), one of 11 EVT centers, strives to continuously optimize stroke care by improving and upgrading equipment. In September 2022, an aspiration (suction) system was upgraded at TBRHSC to assist when removing a clot from the brain.
The next goal is to purchase an anesthesia machine and monitoring equipment for the EVT suite.
“Stroke is the most feared complication after cardiac surgery,” remarks Dr. Bebedjian, Interventional Neurologist and EVT provider at TBRHSC. “And as our cardiac care grows at TBRHSC, preparing for the opening of the cardiovascular program, it is vital to continue with our progress in stroke care.”
“The additional equipment we have received and the upgrades we hope to obtain in the future mean faster and more efficient treatment for patients, ultimately giving the patient the best opportunity for recovery,” adds Dr. A. Hassan, Neurologist and Medical Lead, Northwestern Ontario Regional Stroke Network.
While more strokes are happening, with advancements in stroke care, more people are surviving. The need for stroke treatment, prevention and recovery systems is crucial.
Donations supporting stroke care and EVT initiatives can be directed to the STROKE FUND through the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation at healthsciencesfoundation.ca/donate or by calling 807-345-4673.
For more information on stroke care in Northwestern Ontario, visit www.nwostroke.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.