Alarming reduction in crucial timely treatment for stroke patients

The Irish Heart Foundation has said that around 800 stroke sufferers a year are at increased risk of death and disability because of a large reduction in the amount of patients getting treatment on time.

They say that an analysis of data released by the HSE shows that only 60% of patients got to hospital within a crucial 4.5 hour window for thrombolysis in 2020 – compared to 73% six years earlier.

The latest Irish National Audit of Stroke, which is due out tomorrow, is also expected to show a further decline in 2021 – a situation the charity describes as “shocking and avoidable”.

Research carried out by the foundation shows that less people can recall the vital FAST (Face, Arm, Speech and Time) warning signs.

Prof. Rónán Collins, the HSE’s National Clinical Lead for Stroke said “We urge people to learn about the signs of stroke and to act as fast as possible in calling an ambulance.