December 10, 2009

AUSTRALIA: Improving Stroke Management in Australian Emergency Departments

. CANBERRA, ACT / National Health & Medical Research Council / December 10, 2009 The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a stroke care package designed to improve care for people presenting to the emergency department with acute stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Stroke is Australia’s second single greatest killer after coronary heart disease and is a leading cause of disability. There are approximately 60 000 new and recurrent strokes in Australia each year, that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. This number will increase as the population ages.
Health care is probably Australia's largest single industry. - Warwick Anderson, CEO - NHMRC
According to the National Stroke Foundation (NSF), one in five people having a first-ever stroke die within one month and one in three die within a year. Effective treatment in the emergency department can reduce disabilities and improve long term patient outcomes. Implementation of the stroke care recommendations will result in: * Timely and accurate stroke and TIA assessment; * Timely and appropriate clinical management consistent with national guidelines; and * Increased consistency of care. The stroke care package, or bundle approach, was selected by a multidisciplinary reference group of emergency and stroke clinicians. It provides recommendations in a concise and useable format tailored specifically for use by clinicians in the emergency department setting. The package comprises a small number of evidence-based interventions, grouped together and applied to the management of a particular condition. Each element must be undertaken at the same time and in the same way for all patients, which reduces variability of practice and significantly improves patient outcomes. The materials were developed by NHMRC’s National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) and are based on the NSF Clinical Guidelines for Acute Stroke Management. It has been endorsed by the NSF, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Australian College of Emergency Nursing, and the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia. [rc] For more information and to access to the stroke care bundle please go to the NHMRC website. Source: National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS)