The National Brain Appeal has committed to raise £1.5m to create an acute interventional neuroradiology service for stroke at Queen Square.
Stroke is the fourth largest cause of death in the UK. Treatment has been greatly improved by the creation of the Hyperacute stroke service at University College Hospital. This provides prompt access to clot-busting drugs. However, for some individuals with large clots that block arteries to the brain it is not effective.
The National Hospital is poised to make a major step forward in stroke treatment. Physically removing the blood clot from an artery has been shown to prevent severe brain damage (and in some cases death). This removal – called thrombectomy – is achieved by passing a catheter up the artery, ensnaring the blood clot and pulling it out so that blood flow is restored.
The team at the Queen Square stroke unit – together with the Hyperacute Stroke Unit – currently offer thrombectomy to people who have suffered an ischaemic stroke. However, at present, this treatment is only available to 25 patients a year.
The plan is to establish a 24/7 stroke service for the population of four million in north London. By also introducing the new interventional neuroradiology service for stroke the number of patients that could be treated would increase to 400 per year.
In parallel, Queen Square will develop a regional interventional neuroradiology service that will ensure patients who have had cerebral haemorrhages from ruptured arteries, and who are at high risk of a second, catastrophic bleed, can be treated urgently seven days a week – this will add an extra 120 patients each year.
“Our vision is that Queen Square will provide round-the-clock access to lifesaving and time-critical interventional stroke treatment. In partnership with the Institute of Neurology, the hospital will continue to develop this treatment as we meet our commitment to leading the international drive to reduce death and disability after stroke.”
Robert Simister, Comprehensive Stroke Service Lead.
Funding from The National Brain Appeal will support the creation of five neuromedical high acuity beds in a new neurology and stroke intensive care unit at a cost of £500,000. £1million will also be put towards the purchase of a second angiography scanner, which will be crucial to delivering this new service.