In a survey of stroke treatment centres from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Wycombe Hospital’s stroke unit has ranked third in the country for its efficiency in treating stroke-related blood clots.
In the first of the college’s quarterly reports for July-September last year Wycombe Hospital’s hyperacute stroke unit (HASU) comes after Northwick Park and Charing Cross Hospitals in London for thrombolysis, an injection that is used to disperse blood clots.
Wycombe Hospital’s HASU is part of the Cardiac and Stroke Receiving Unit (CSRU) where patients with a suspected stroke or cardiac condition which requires immediate specialist attention will be assessed 24 hours a day and admitted to the appropriate service for treatment.
Early administration of the treatment is important, as it can radically improve a patient’s quality of life following a stroke.
Wycombe’s score, which takes into account five different factors around the speed and numbers of patients thrombolysed, was 84.2.
Charing Cross scored 84.5 and Northwick Park 94.6 for the thrombolysis team score.
The hospital, which is run by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, was also the fastest outside London for accessing thrombolysis – the time from door to needle taking 38 minutes, against a national median of 59 minutes.
The results were published on 24 February 2014 through the RCP’s Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNP). In a separate two-yearly RCP audit last year, Buckinghamshire Healthcare’s stroke service was in the top 10% of 151 trusts and best in the south central region with an 87 out of 100 score.
- F – If a person has had a stroke, their face may have fallen on one side and they may not be able to smile
- A – Arms: a person with a suspected stroke may not be able to raise both arms and keep them there
- S – Speech can become slurred if someone is having a stroke. It may be confused and difficult to understand
- T – Time: If you see any one of these signs, the person may be having a stroke and it’s time to call 999.