Leeds hospital unveils a national first for stroke treatment

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A new service has been launched in Leeds which provides specialist treatment for patients who have suffered a life-threatening stroke.

The service means patients requiring intervention (where clot-busting drugs have failed to remove the clot) can undergo a procedure known as a mechanical thrombectomy, whilst also allowing them to be discharged back to the referring hospital the same day - a national first.

It has been made possible by the Brain Attack Team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT),

The Regional Mechanical Thrombectomy Service, which was commissioned by NHS England in April this year, is based in Leeds but caters for patients across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

The new service is all thanks to a highly co-ordinated approach between stroke nurses, interventional neuroradiologists, consultants, and other practitioners, which aims to treat the incoming patient as soon as possible.

Alastair Bailey, Lead Nurse for Stroke at LTHT, said: “A mechanical thrombectomy works in a similar way to using plumbing rods to dislodge a drain blockage - the procedure clears the artery of the clot and restores blood flow to the brain.

“For patients who have a blood clot that drugs cannot remove, it is vital this takes place as soon as possible.

The service was used on a patient for the first time last week.

Dr Tony Goddard, Consultant Neuroradiologist at LTHT, said: “The amazing success for this patient is a culmination of months and even years of planning and a testament to the collaboration of an incredible team of experts.

“A lot of hard work went in to get this right.”