Over 30 years of ambition has revolutionized stroke care in Canada

Stroke prevention and treatment, as well as stroke recovery, have changed dramatically over the past few decades through medical discoveries, increased awareness, and improvements in care systems.

MONTREAL, June 1, 2022 / CNW / – However, the need for stroke-related treatment and services is also growing, and there is still much work to be done to increase recognition of the signs of stroke.

“Advances in stroke care are tremendous,” says Patrice Lindsey, MD, director of Health System Change, Heart and Stroke. Just over 30 years ago, when someone had a stroke, there was almost nothing that could be done for them. The reality is no longer the same: Today, there are plenty of things that can be done to treat stroke and promote recovery. »

Canada is the world leader in stroke innovation. World-class research and coordinated systems of stroke care have increased prevention, improved prognosis, increased life-saving therapies, optimized rehabilitation and expanded recovery support.

Today, the number of strokes in the country continues to rise. According to new data, more than 89,000 clots occur each year. This increase is due to an aging population (age is a risk factor for stroke) and the fact that young people are suffering from strokes (possibly due to increased risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, poor diet and lack of physical activity). The number of people suffering from the effects of stroke has risen to 878,000 in the country.

“There are more and more stroke survivors thanks to increased public awareness of the signs of this medical emergency and the need to call 9-1-1 immediately. In addition, we now have the systems in place to provide people who are having a stroke with appropriate care, in the hospital The right time, at the right time, says Dr. Thalia Field, a neurologist with the Vancouver Stroke Program and a funded Heart and Stroke researcher.

Nathan Pryor was 38 years old and was at his best; He was training at his physical training center in Halifax when he had a stroke. A personal trainer at the center recognized the signs of a stroke and called 9-1-1. Nathan was taken to the hospital by ambulance in record time, and a team of stroke specialists was waiting for him. He underwent a CT scan, was given a drug that can dissolve blood clots, and then underwent an endovascular thrombectomy (ET), an operation that removes clots from a blood vessel using a repairable stent that is moved to the brain through a blood vessel. Nathan regained sensation almost immediately and raised his thumbs up. He was discharged from the hospital after a few days.

“What I take away from this experience is that stroke can affect anyone and it is very important for people to know how to recognize the signs of a stroke and to be aware of the importance of treating it quickly. That is why I don’t have any serious sequelae,” says Nathan. Treated as fast as possible.”

Stroke progression

Heart & Stroke has played a vital role in advancing stroke by funding research, raising awareness, driving change in stroke care systems across the country, and advocating for better health policies.

Here are some examples of advances in stroke prevention, awareness, treatment, and recovery that have been made over the past 30-40 years.

medical discoveries

1999 A new life-saving drug has been developed that can dissolve blood clots and treat ischemic strokes. Among patients who have had an ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke), those treated early with alteplase (t-PA), a drug that can dissolve blood clots, are 30% more likely than those without Slight or even no disability.

2000 Studies show that ACE inhibitors significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood pressure (high blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke).

2015 The ESCAPE trial focuses on ET, which is used to treat severe strokes by removing clots from blood vessels with a retractable stent. This new treatment, which reduces mortality by 50% and promotes better recovery, was added to Heart & Stroke’s Canadian Best Practices recommendations for stroke care within weeks of the test results being released.

2016 The Interstruc study highlights the 10 risk factors responsible for 90% of strokes worldwide.

2020 CanStroke is the first national clinical trial platform focused on stroke recovery. It brings together researchers from all over the country to test and accelerate discoveries.

Improving stroke care regimes

2000 The Canadian Stroke Network was created to fund research and promote excellence in care and services.

2004 The Canadian Stroke Strategy is revolutionizing stroke management with a new integrated approach to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

2006 Canadian Stroke Best Practice recommendations ensure rapid and widespread adoption of advances in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation across the country.

2009 Until 2022, the number of hospitals:

• Stroke difference increased from 74 to 155 (81 more);

• With an increase in stroke units from 58 to 95 (37 more);

• Telestroke width increased from 71 to 307 (236 more);

• t-PA savings increased from 153 to 232 (79 more);

• TE width has been increased from 0 to 25.

Awareness, information and support

– Since 2014, the VITE campaign has been helping people recognize the most common signs of stroke and act fast.

Fifthisage – is it flabby?
IPortability – Can you raise both arms naturally?
TSpeech ruble – a speech disorder?
extreme Emergency – Dial 9-1-1.

Stroke resources, webinars and programs are available online as well as support for people living with the effects of stroke and their caregivers.

Despite the progress made, much remains to be done to prevent stroke, raise awareness and ensure equitable access to care across the country. Despite increasing public awareness, according to a recent survey, four out of ten people do not know any of the FAST signs of stroke. Geographical location and socioeconomic status are barriers to obtaining specialized stroke treatment and care. The majority of people who have a stroke require ongoing recovery support. Even if the communities have excellent resources, these are not enough and are mainly found in the main centers. There are also awareness, access, and cost barriers. In addition, people from certain demographic groups are disproportionately affected: women suffer greater consequences than men, Indigenous communities experience higher rates of stroke and heart disease, as well as face barriers in accessing optimal care.

Publication of the health indicator: 06-01-2022 – Number of visits since publication: 97

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