Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stroke Patients 'Brought to Life' by Revolutionary Treatment in Capital; EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stroke Patients 'Brought to Life' by Revolutionary Treatment in Capital; EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Health Editor

CRITICALLY ill patients left paralysed by strokes are being "brought back to life" on the operating table by a groundbreaking rapid-response treatment at a London hospital.

Doctors revealed to the Standard that people left unconscious or unable to speak or move by major strokes are making dramatic -- sometimes almost instant -- recoveries due to the first 24/7 UK centre offering a revolutionary procedure.

Experts say that getting the timecritical treatment within hours after a stroke can be the difference between a full recovery and serious disability or even death.

A girl of 17 was the first to receive the new "gold standard" out-of-hours care at St George's Hospital, Tooting, after being rushed late at night from Surrey when conventional clot-busting drugs failed to work.

She was unable to speak or move one side of her body -- but suddenly recovered on the operating table when doctors fed a 3ft-long catheter wire through her groin to "fish out" life-threatening blood clots in her brain.

Consultant neurologist Dr Bhavini Patel said: "The whole of her right side had no power. She was mute. As soon as the doctors pulled the wire out, that was it. She was speaking again. I went in to see her and she said, 'Oh, I can move my leg. I can move my arm. I can speak.' She went home the next day. This was the week before her 18th birthday."

Dr Joe Leyon, the interventional neuroradiologist who performed the procedure, said: "It's devastating for patients to find one moment they're completely paralysed and/or have lost speech.

"It's fair to say they have been brought back to life when they get these functions back in a moment."

The procedure, mechanical thrombectomy, is especially useful in patients with the most severe forms of stroke, including the 10 per cent who fail to respond to clot-busting drugs. These are most at risk of disability or death.

The procedure became an established part of the stroke service at St George's last year after medical research found it more than doubled some patients' chances of surviving without serious disability. …

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