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Dunedin stroke unit speeds recovery

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016
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A specialist stroke unit developed at Dunedin Hospital has helped produce better outcomes for patients, a study has found.

The unit was developed for an international trial on using nitroglycerine patches to treat stroke patients, in which Kiwi patients had significantly better outcomes than those from other countries.

Results showed a number of the 71 Kiwi patients enrolled in the trial were less likely to suffer severe disability within 90 days of a stoke.

The trial's lead Kiwi researcher Dr Michael Furlong said during the trial, a stroke unit was developed in Dunedin, to standardise and improve co-ordination of patient care.

The emergency department was able to send urgent tracer calls to the stroke team, helping them to see patients immediately and enrol them in the international trial where possible.

Quicker hospital admission and recruitment into the trial meant patients could be exposed to nitroglycerine within six hours.

Dr Furlong said the unit's protocols could explain some of the superior trial outcomes for New Zealand patients.

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