New Treatment Helps Dozens of Stroke Survivors

The fact that around 90 New Zealanders have benefitted from clot retrieving technology is terrific news, Stroke Foundation CEO Mark Vivian says.

The Government announced today that the stroke survivors have received endovascular clot removal (also known as thrombectomy), which surgically removes clots that cause a stroke.

“Thrombectomy is a brilliant new development which offers real hope to people who have a stroke,” Mr Vivian says.

“The recovery after treatment can be quite astonishing, and we hope it will be used more widely in the future.”

According to recent Ministry of Health figures, stroke is the country’s second leading cause of death. Every hour, a stroke affects another New Zealander.

One of the successful treatments for stroke is prompt access to thrombolysis drug treatment, which dissolves blood clots if administered within a few hours of the stroke.

“For this reason it’s heartening to see progress being made in the number of eligible patients receiving the treatment,” Mr Vivian says.

“We know that one of the best defences against stroke is knowing the symptoms and knowing what to do. That’s why last year’s national FAST campaign was such a positive step – we know it saved lives.”

The 2016 campaign for FAST (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 111) aired on TV and radio mid-year.

“We’re very grateful to the Government for funding that campaign,” Mr Vivian says. “We strongly urge and hope the Government will fund another one this year. If they do, they can rest assured they have saved and improved many lives.”

The Stroke Foundation says the tele-stroke service for regional hospitals has also helped.

“The challenge with stroke is that there is always something to do,” Mr Vivian says.

 “But we are heartened and encouraged by today’s announcement and look forward to the Government’s ongoing commitment to combatting stroke.”