Hospital stroke team wins awardLocal | Staff Reporter 23 Sep 2019
A medical team at the Prince of Wales Hospital has received an award from the Hospital Authority for implementing a potentially life-saving system for stroke patients.
Once a paramedic suspects a patient has suffered a stroke, they will inform the designated team at the Sha Tin-based hospital ahead of time.
The medical team at the hospital will then notify neurologists, radiographers and nurses in charge of stroke cases to attend to the patient at the accident and emergency ward, study the patient's medical history and reserve a computerized tomography scan suite for immediate scanning upon the patient's arrival.
These measures would facilitate treatment within three hours and boost the patient's chances of survival and recovery.
The award-winning team, led by the hospital's medicine and therapeutics specialist Thomas Leung Wai-hong, also trained paramedics on stroke symptoms.
"After a pilot scheme, we saw an obvious improvement as the time between the patient's arrival at the A&E and diagnosis dropped from 40 to eight minutes," said Leung. "And the duration from arrival at the A&E to thrombolysis treatment was shortened from 60 to 16 minutes.
"With such improvements, we can buy time for patients and conduct surgeries as early as possible, which would eventually increase their chances of survival and reduce the impact of strokes so they can recover much quicker."
The team also strengthened support by enhancing medical staff's training and public education.
Since 2010, the team has worked with the authority's Institute of Health Care to provide acute training for nurses on stroke patients.
It has also organized practice sessions and exchanges with stroke groups and nursing schools in Guangdong over the past decade.
Maggie Lau Man-san, an advanced practice nurse, said that the role of nurses has been strengthened as they can now "take part at an earlier stage or even make clinical decisions with doctors," which is different from their traditional role of focusing on patients' post-operative care.
International statistics showed that one person in the world suffers from a stroke every six seconds.
Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in Hong Kong.