Could brain scan delays for stroke patients be putting them at further harm?

20th May 2011

A Northern Ireland charity boss has claimed that a delay in brain scans for stroke patients could be paving the way for further harm.

Andrew Dougal, chief executive of Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke, said that people were being put at unnecessary risk because of the time lapse between a person suffering a stroke and being given a brain scan, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

He told the news provider: "Time lost means loss of brain function for many. They are put into general medical assessment units and they should go directly under the care of the stroke team."

Hospitals in Northern Ireland have a comparatively poor rate of brain scanning in a day, managing only 57 per cent. This trails behind England at 71 per cent, the Telegraph reported.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said there had been an overall improvement in the rates over the past couple of years.

The Stroke Association advises that a brain scan should be given within 24 hours of admittance to hospital.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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