World Stroke Day: our role and our research

Manual handling ambulance  credited to SCAS

It’s World Stroke Day today (29th October)!

It’s a condition that we respond to on a daily basis, but did you know that:

  • a stroke happens to someone every three and a half minutes in the UK

  • worldwide, someone has a first-time stroke every two seconds

  • there are around 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK

  • three in 10 stroke survivors will go on to have a recurrent stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

  • one in eight strokes are fatal within the first 30 days

  • one in four strokes are fatal within a year

  • by the age of 75, one in five women and one in six men will have a stroke

  • stroke is the largest cause of complex disability – half of all stroke survivors have a disability, with walking, talking, speech, balance, co-ordination, vision, spatial awareness, swallowing, bladder and bowel control and mental health all potentially being affected

  • more than a third of stroke survivors in the UK are dependent on others?

So what can we do for these patients?

  • Please remember to document the time and outcome of FAST assessments - early recognition of a stroke or TIA is key for optimal patient care. Remember, a TIA should be treated as a stroke until all symptoms have resolved.
  • When there is complete stroke symptom resolution, document the ABCD2 score – this is used to predict the short-term risk of stroke and facilitate the best care pathway. Warfarin or AF patients, or those that have had a similar TIA episode in the past seven days, are automatically considered high risk.  
  • Be sure to deliver and document all four aspects of the stroke care bundle, as well as any reasons/exemptions why you couldn’t complete them:


Remember, stroke patients are eligible for thrombolysis when:

  • they have new onset FAST-positive symptoms or persistent focal neurological deficit suggestive of stroke
  • there is a clear symptom onset time and they can be at the receiving hospital within 4.5 hours of this time
  • hypoglycaemia had been ruled out
  • there is no major ABC problem.

The latest research

Have you heard about the RIGHT-2 trial?

The RIGHT-2 is a two-year stroke trial that tests the pre-hospital administration of GTN patches vs. sham patches by paramedics, in FAST positive patients with a score of two or three.

We’re still looking for paramedics in these areas to take part in this ground breaking research project: Peterborough, March, Longwater, Attleborough, Cromer, Bury St Edmunds, Diss, Stowmarket, Thetford, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Saxmundham, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich or Weeley.

If you’d like to get involved, please contact

Published 29th October, 2015

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