WIMMERA Healthcare Group has won a national excellence award for the treatment of stroke paitients.
For the second year running, Wimmera Base Hospital has been named one of 13 hospitals across Australia to receive an Excellence Award in the 2021 Australian Stroke Coalition Quality Stroke Service Awards.
The awards, announced at the 30th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Stroke Society of Australasia, recognise Australia's top hospitals in the delivery of quality, evidence-based stroke treatment and care.
WHCG stroke care coordinator Deidre Rennick said she was proud of the health service's record with stroke patients.
"Not only does WHCG have a dedicated stroke coordinator but we also have immediate access to the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Program which enables us to connect directly to a neurologist for advice on how to proceed with treatment," Ms Rennick said.
Excellence is measured by hospitals that achieve nine best-practice stroke treatment and care benchmarks, including treatment with thrombolysis (blood clot-dissolving treatment) within one hour of hospital arrival, the provision of stroke unit care and a care plan at the time of discharge.
Ms Rennick said Wimmera Base Hospital was efficient in treating stroke patients who arrive at the hospital.
"Small is better, in terms of the time to get someone from coming in the door to having their CT scan, to being able to know what type of stroke they're having and what's the most appropriate treatment for them," she said.
"Also the fact we can give them clot-busting medications here as well so we can get them in, diagnosed and treated very quickly and that's where small sites have a big advantage over your big Metro hospitals.
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"And time is brain - that's the key. The quicker you can get that blood supply restored, the better chance the person has for recovery."
Ms Rennick said the recognition was also due to a great team working together including paramedics, nurses, doctors and the radiology department.
Monash University's Professor Dominique Cadilhac said it was wonderful to see so many hospitals recognised.
"It was encouraging to see a greater number of hospitals achieving excellence this year - 13 up from seven in 2020," Professor Cadilhac said.
"That reflects an ongoing dedication to achieve the best outcomes for patients with stroke to help them survive and live healthy lives into the future. I congratulate the winning hospitals."
Stroke strikes the brain, the human control centre and can change lives in an instant for the individual and their loved ones.
It's estimated more than 27,400 people in Australia will have a stroke for the first time in their lives in 2021, while 208 people experienced a first-time stroke in the Mallee federal electorate in 2020.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said stroke is always a medical emergency but it can be treated and it can be beaten.
The other hospitals named in the award are Goulburn Valley Health, Echuca Regional Health and Frankston Hospital, also in Victoria.
Across Australia the remaining hospitals to make the cut were: Port Macquarie Base Hospital, Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, Sutherland Hospital, Northern Beaches Hospital and Wagga Wagga Base Hospital - all in NSW; Redcliffe Hospital, Townsville Hospital, Cairns Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital in Queensland.
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