Singapore, 5 October 2018 – More treatment options are now available for stroke patients with advanced brain imaging. Thrombolysis and endovascular therapy may now be considered in wider time windows after further neuroimaging investigations. Upon detection of a stroke, it is vital to act F.A.S.T – Face drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech and Time to call 995; for best outcomes. The national stroke awareness campaign 2018 was launched today in conjunction with the 17th Singapore International Stroke Conference organised by the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI).
Imaging advancements enable treatment of more stroke patients
Close to 8,000 persons in Singapore suffered a stroke in 2017 and the numbers will increase due to Singapore’s ageing population. With further neuroimaging procedures, more stroke patients can now be treated with acute treatments (thrombolysis and endovascular therapy). Previously, stroke patients could receive emergency treatment to break up or remove the blood clot if they came in within specified narrow time windows from stroke onset. However earlier treatment is still critical for better outcomes.
Dr Carol Tham, Consultant, Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute and Co-Chairperson of the NNI’s 17th Singapore International Stroke Conference said: “Through the Stroke Conference, we hope to drive new treatment protocols for stroke care in Singapore and reduce the debilitating effect on patients and their family. Stroke causes adult disability - physical, psychological and cognitive - with social consequences. With advanced neuroimaging, we can now reduce disability with acute intervention beyond the optimum window. However, it is still crucial to recognise stroke symptoms fast and get the patient to a hospital quickly to reverse the impact of stroke,” said Dr Tham.
Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe, Medical Director of the National Neuroscience Institute highlighted: “Singapore’s rapidly ageing population will contribute to a significant rise in neurological diseases such as stroke. Neurological diseases make up the second heaviest disease burden for Singapore. However, 80% of strokes are preventable, by leading a healthy lifestyle, eating right and exercising. As the national centre for neuroscience care, NNI works with partners to reach out to the community. We are happy to partner the Singapore Stroke Improvement unit to increase awareness of stroke symptoms and treatment.”
Highlights of 17th Singapore International Stroke Conference – 5th & 6th October 2018
Organised by NNI, the two-day conference brings together stroke professionals from Singapore and the region for sharing of stroke care expertise and best practices. The Guest-of-Honour for the opening ceremony is Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary,Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Health.
Themed ‘Pushing the frontiers,’ the conference will feature the latest developments in stroke treatment. “Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in Singapore and with a rapidly ageing population, the burden of stroke will increase exponentially, posing challenges to the healthcare system and society. Hence, it is critical for stroke professionals to keep abreast with new knowledge in treatment options to provide better care,” said Dr Wee Chee Keong, Consultant, Department of Neurology, NNI and Co-Chairperson for the NNI’s 17th Singapore International Stroke Conference.
National Stroke Campaign 2018
F.A.S.T. – Face drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech and Time to call 995.
A/Prof Deidre Anne De Silva, Head, Department of Neurology, NNI-SGH campus and Chair, MOH Stroke Services Improvement team highlighted: “Treatments for stroke are timesensitive. It is critical to recognise stroke symptoms and get the patient to a hospital as soonas possible by an ambulance. As soon as a call is received, a chain of events unfolds, from the ambulance dispatcher, to the Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedics who activate the hospital’s multidisciplinary stroke care team enroute so that the care team is ready toassess and treat the patient promptly. This results in faster initiation of treatment as compared to arriving at the hospital through other means of transport.”
She added, “Stroke can happen to anyone at any age. 1 in 6 people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. It is important for the public to recognize stroke, act F.A.S.T. to call 995. You never know when you may encounter a loved one, an acquaintance or a stranger who issuffering an acute stroke - you can make a difference to a stroke victim’s outcome by knowing what to do. ”
The National Stroke Campaign 2018 launched at the 17th Singapore International Stroke Conference, is organised by the Ministry of Health and supported by NNI. NNI will continue to grow such partnerships to meet the increasing health needs of the community.
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