The stroke services are divided into two areas, a nine bed hyper acute stroke unit (HASU) situated on C neuro, within the Wessex neurological centre, and a 28 bed stroke rehab unit situated on F8.
Hyper-acute stroke management
The hyper-acute stroke team provide a rapid assessment service 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure all stroke patients are assessed and managed by our specialist team, as soon as possible after admission. This often involves being aware of potential stroke patients before they arrive by communicating directly with paramedic crews.
The specialist multidisciplinary team on call comprises:
- specialist stroke nurses
- consultant stroke phsyicians
- consultant neurologists
- interventional neuroradiologists.
The hyper-acute stroke team also provide a stroke thrombolysis (clot busting) service for eligible patients. By working with neuroradiologists and neurosurgical teams, they can provide access to more interventional treatments if required, ensuring that patients have access to the best services possible.
Acute stroke management
Following admission to the stroke unit, the team aims to:
- Assess the type of stroke by performing a CT brain scan soon after admission. The CT scan may show evidence of an ischaemic stroke (blockage of an artery in the brain) or a haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain).
- Investigate the cause of stroke in every patient by assessing lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and exercise. They also look for evidence of diabetes and raised cholesterol levels with a blood test and will perform a heart tracing (ECG) to look for signs of an irregular heart beat. They also organise an ultrasound scan of the carotid arteries, if appropriate, to ensure that there is no blockage of the arteries which may contribute to stroke disease. In some cases a heart scan (echocardiogram) or further brain scans such as an MRI may be requested.
- Commence a number of different medications in order to reduce further brain damage and decrease the risk of further strokes. These medications may include blood thinning tablets (aspirin, clopidogrel or warfarin), cholesterol lowering medication including simvastatin, or blood pressure lowering tablets such as ramipril or amlodipine.
- Assess your every need as a patient. Our multidisciplinary team will thoroughly assess and develop a list of goals which will be discussed with you and your family.