The Athens Euroclinic Stroke Unit applies the most advanced treatments for cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) 24/7, reducing patient mortality and disability rates.
The Stroke Unit performs:
- Fast patient evaluation – Patients presenting at the Emergency Department are evaluated very quickly by a dedicated team of doctors and nurses
- Immediate treatment – Thrombolytic therapy is administered, provided the CT scan is consistent with ischemic stroke
- 24/7 – Hospitalized patient monitoring, coupled with intensive physical therapy and speech therapy
- Multidisciplinary team consisting of neurologists, neurosurgeons, invasive radiologists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, internists and qualified nurses, and available 24/7
EVALUATION AND DIAGNOSIS
One-third of patients presenting at the Stroke Unit with possible stroke for evaluation may also suffer from another neurological condition (e.g. other disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, etc.) or have other health-related problems. That’s the reason why patients must be evaluated comprehensively, so as to receive the necessary treatment, either as inpatients or after they are discharged.
THROMBOLYSIS AT THE STROKE UNIT
When a patient presents at the Euroclinic Emergency Department with suspected stroke, they are evaluated immediately by a neurologist, so as to determine whether they have actually suffered a stroke. If the physical neurological exam points to a medical problem, the patient is immediately transferred to the CT Department and undergoes brain CT. It is then determined whether the stroke is due to arterial blockage (ischemic stroke) or vessel rupture (hemorrhagic stroke). In the case of blockage, the patient is transferred to the Stroke Unit and is administered thrombolytic therapy intravenously. The medicine is transferred to the obstructed vessel through the blood flow, breaks up the clot and restores the blood flow to the brain. In some cases, the results are immediate and the stroke symptoms disappear. But even if this does not happen, the long-term results for patients who have received treatment are better.
The faster the patients receive thrombolytic therapy, the more they benefit from it. A specific action protocol is followed at the Stroke Unit. Specifically, the exact time the patient arrived (door time), as well as the steps and procedures followed up to the time they received treatment (needle time) are recorded. The time between these two decisive treatment points for the patient is known as door-to-needle time. The Euroclinic Stroke Unit has one of the shorter such times across Greece (42 minutes). In all events, each case is reexamined in detail after thrombolysis to further improve the quality and response times.
During hospitalization at the Stroke Unit, patients are evaluated by a multitude of healthcare professions. Based on their specialty, each one of them actively contributes to the further management of any health problems that caused the stroke or are the result of the stroke.
The nurses have been trained on caring for stroke patients. Every three months, the Stroke Unit organizes training seminars, lectures and case simulations, to maintain the top-level of services provided by the nurses. There is also a Stroke Nurse available at all times.
Physical and Speech Therapists
Each patient hospitalized at the Stroke Unit is evaluated within 24 hours by physical therapists (motor skills, motor deficits, ability to walk, stand up and balance, etc.) and speech therapists (evaluation of speech and swallowing).
Patients are examined daily by the Stroke Unit neurologist and other specialists who may need to offer assistance. During hospitalization, attention is paid to investigating the causes of the stroke and ensuring secondary prevention. The neurologist on call is usually the one who handles the emergency part of the patients’ hospitalization and administers thrombolytic therapy. The neurologists of the Stroke Unit team are in constant communication among them. The use of the Online Patient File offers them full access to the patient’s history and lab tests in real time, ensuring unimpeded information to the Unit doctors and fostering joint and coordinated decision-making on medical issues.