More Victorians To Access World Best Practice Stroke Treatment

The Andrews Labor Government is rolling out a new state-wide service delivering a breakthrough treatment for stroke in Victoria, in a bid to save more lives and improve patient outcomes.

In a major global shift in the care of people experiencing ischaemic stroke, Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) has been proven to significantly improve outcomes for patients with larger blood clots by quickly restoring blood flow to the brain, reducing the incidence of both disability and death.

The Labor Government is leading the way in organising a system-wide approach to make this new, lifesaving treatment available to as many Victorians as possible.

A new state-wide protocol has been developed with the Victorian Stroke Clinical Network, metropolitan and regional hospitals, the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Program, Ambulance Victoria and the National Stroke Foundation.

The protocol will help all hospitals to quickly identify suitable patients for ECR therapy and transfer them to one of two state-wide ECR centres.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is already operating as the first state-wide ECR centre with Monash Medical Centre to commence as the second in late 2016. Both centres will provide the therapy all day, every day and will accept patients from across Victoria.

To date, 65 patients have received ECR treatment at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and it is anticipated more than 360 Victorians will receive the treatment this year.

Victorian hospitals treat more than 14,000 people for stroke and related conditions every year. About one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime.

In 2014, 2,954 Victorians died from the disease, and it continues to be the biggest killer and leading cause of disability in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We’re ensuring people across Victoria can access the world’s best acute treatment for stroke, when they need it.”

“This leading edge treatment for stroke will help save lives and make a remarkable difference in providing a high quality life for stroke survivors.”

“Stroke continues to be the biggest killer and leading cause of disability in Australia, causing more deaths than breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.”