Hospitalís Action Group in call for public to attend stroke meeting

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hospitalís Action Group in call for public to attend stroke meeting thumbnailFRANCIS Gallagher, Chairman of the Daisy Hill Action Group.

THE Southern Health Trust and Department of Health have organised a public meeting about 'reconfiguring' stroke services in the Southern Trust area.

This could mean the closure of the Daisy Hill Stroke Unit and centralising services to Craigavon or Belfast.

The Daisy Hill Action Group has said it is very important that the public attend this meeting to support the retention and development of stroke services at Daisy Hill. The meeting will be held in the Canal Court Hotel on Tuesday, September 12 at 6.30pm in the Millar Suite.

Chairperson of the Daisy Hill Action Group, Francis Gallagher, said: "Our group will be attending this meeting to argue for the further development of the specialist stroke unit at Daisy Hill.

"This will mean the location of a Hyperacute Stroke Unit at Daisy Hill or in a new research and development hospital in the Newry area.

"The time critical nature of stroke care still applies to the Down, Newry, Mourne, Gullion areas more than ever. During 2016, over 270 patients availed of stroke services in Newry and Mourne and 81% of these people lived within 30 minutes of Daisy Hill Hospital, nine percent lived within 30 minutes of Craigavon Hospital and 3% lived within 30 minutes of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

"Two million brain cells are lost for each minute delay in restoring blood flow to the brain after a stroke.

"Every brain cell that dies can increase the level of disability for a patient. This is why it is crucial that a stroke patient receives a Thrombolysis (clot busting treatment) quickly.

"This medical fact is a fundamental reason why stroke services should be maintained and developed at Daisy Hill. If a patient had to bypass Daisy Hill to go to Craigavon Hospital for this clot busting injection, this would add an additional 22 mile journey taking an extra 35 minutes which would mean the death of an additional 70 million brain cells, resulting in long term disability.

"If the same patient had to bypass Daisy Hill and travel to a Belfast Hospital, this would equate to the death of an additional 82 million brain cells."

"Early thrombolysis clot busting treatment is essential for the well being of stroke patients. This treatment requires a professional, functioning 24/7 emergency department.

"Doctors tell me that good patient recovery, early thrombolysis at a local stroke unit and an ED department are interdependent. This is why a Hyperacute Stroke Unit needs to be located at Daisy Hill.

"Medical professionals have informed me that there is no sound scientific evidence based research to support that centralising stroke services in a geographically rural area such as North-east Ireland will save lives."

Mr Gallagher added, "If one patient receives Thrombolysis at their local hospital and another has to travel further to receive this life saving treatment then questions are raised about equality of access to health care.

"We are asking the public to attend this meeting and argue the positive case for a new hyper acute stroke unit to be located at Daisy Hill."


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