n South African Medical Journal - Healthcare delivery - advances in stroke treatment are within reach : in practice

Volume 106, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Five recent trials have shown that mechanical removal of clot from cerebral arteries after a stroke can achieve a functional independent outcome in up to 60% of patients. This was an absolute benefit of between 13.5% and 31% for patients who had clot removal initiated within 6 hours of symptoms over those who had best medical treatment. Coupled with this, there is a strong drive to develop stroke units internationally and in South Africa. As a starting point, more primary stroke care centres that can administer intravenous thrombolysis are needed. Comprehensive stroke centres that can offer mechanical thrombectomy are available, but more will be required as referral of patients increases. Collaboration of all role-players will ensure that we can deliver training and care at the best level for stroke patients.

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