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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Stroke is reported to be the second most common cause of death worldwide, causing 6.24 million deaths globally in 2015 (World Health Organization 2017). Those who survive stroke are often left with major long-term disability. An acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is caused by a sudden blockage of a major brain artery, usually from a clot from the heart or neck moving into the brain.

Stroke Clot Retrieval (SCR) is the removal of the clot from the artery by an endovascular technique. SCR is recommended as a standard of care by international stroke guidelines. SCR, used in clinically appropriate cases, promotes optimum recovery, improved independence and reduced complications resulting in reduced stroke burden overall. Successful treatment requires a timely and integrated response between hospital and transport providers from onset of symptoms to hospital transfer, diagnosis and treatment at one of the three designated SCR centers. The SCR Action Plan aims to:

  1. improve access to SCR
  2. reduce inequity of access to SCR
  3. provide patient-centred, culturally appropriate care
  4. improve health outcomes
  5. improve equity in outcomes.

This will be achieved through the provision of a nationally consistent, sustainable, 24/7 SCR service supported by an appropriately skilled and resourced workforce, to improve the health outcomes of New Zealanders with AIS stroke.