Hospital Trust awarded Hyperacute Stroke Research Centre status by NIHR

Staying healthy for longer

Southampton’s stroke team, based at Southampton General Hospital, have been awarded Hyperacute Stroke Research Centre (HSRC) status by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

This status makes UHS a specialist centre for research in the ‘hyper-acute’ time period following a stroke (within a few hours), when treatment is most likely to be effective.

The award recognises the increasing numbers of patients that have been recruited by the team into clinical trials following a stroke, and their plans to expand recruitment and research in the future.

Improving stroke outcomes

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The main causes are blood clots that lead to a blockage and burst blood vessels that cause bleeding (haemorrhage) in the brain.

Treating a stroke as soon as possible helps to limit the damage caused and improve patients’ outcomes. Treatment is dependent on the cause of the stroke and the area of the brain affected, and new research could provide additional treatment options and technology to guide decisions.

Expanding our stroke research

As new treatments for acute stroke emerge, such as mechanical thrombectomy – a surgical procedure to remove blood clots from a blocked artery in the brain, and different drugs to break down blood clots – advanced imaging techniques such as specialised CT and MRI brain scans are being used to determine which patients will benefit most.

New research is needed to refine time windows for these treatments, as well as the most effective devices and brain scans needed to deliver them.

“This is an exciting time to be involved in hyperacute stroke care,” said Dr Richard Marigold, HSRC lead and consultant in stroke at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

“In combination with increasing access to thrombectomy, this award will enable Southampton to be at the cutting edge of acute stroke research and mean we can enrol more of our patients into the very latest clinical trials.”

Posted on Wednesday 27 November 2019