Arrive Alive

Suffering a Stroke and Emergency Response

Launch of mySOS Emergency App, myStroke and ER24 Partnership

Strokes can be reversed if treated urgently within a specialised stroke unit, but most South Africans do not know that stroke units have been established or where the units are located.

The recently formed partnership between myStroke, mySOS and ER24 enable patients with suspected strokes to get the best help available FAST, as “TIME IS BRAIN”.

Historical Lack of Specialist Stroke Care in South Africa

Strokes are one area of South African medical care that has not kept up with international standards which includes the development of specialist stroke units which are able to provide specialist:

  • emergency treatment to minimise damage caused by the stroke
  • medical care to avoid complications and to treat the underlying cause so recurrent strokes can be avoided
  • rehab therapy to increase the recovery rates after a stroke.

Despite many initiatives from several institutions over the last 20 years, no one has managed to establish a nationwide network of stroke units which has resulted in the vast majority of stroke patients being denied international standards of medical care.

 

Nik Rabinowitz explains how to recognise a stroke or heart attack

By knowing the early signs of a stroke or heart attack and knowing what to do, you can save the life of someone you love ...... or even someone you don't love ...

 

Stroke units are being established through South Africa

This has all changed over the last year. The myStroke Initiative, funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and endorsed by the South African Stroke Society, has successfully supported the establishment of stroke units throughout South Africa. Sixteen of these units have registered on www.myStroke.co.za indicating that they are able to provide specialist stroke care. There are another 40 hospitals that are setting up the systems and should be ready to admit stroke patients within the next 6 months.

This means that for the first time in history, South Africans in many cities and towns all over the country have access to protocol driven stroke treatment.

As is all other countries, specialist stroke care will always only be available in certain hospitals, so we need to educate the public of where they need to go should they suspect a stroke.

What treatment should they expect?

The challenge with treating strokes is the need to determine whether the stroke is caused by a blockage or a bleed, as opposite treatments are needed. The only way to out-rule a bleeding stroke is to obtain a CT or MRI scan, which can take several hours in a non-specialist unit. By going to a recognised stroke unit, the patient increases the chances significantly for a medical examinations, blood tests and scan all to be done in a very short period of time to enable the specialist to decide on the most appropriate emergency care in less than an hour of arriving at the hospital to enable treatment to be given as soon as possible, but within 4.5 hours of the start of the stroke.

Strokes caused by a blockage (which account for about 85% of all strokes) can be treated using a clot busting medication (for small clots), or mechanical removal (for large clots). The earlier blood flow is restored to the brain, the more brain tissue is saved.

For this reason, it is better to spend extra time driving to the appropriate hospital than waiting for hours for a scan in a non-specialist hospital.

How to find the nearest stroke unit

www.mystroke.co.za: Specialist stroke units are able to register on the www.mystroke.co.za. Once the hospitals have multidisciplinary teams trained to treat strokes, as well as the required facilities and technology accessible 24/7 they are then listed on the pages accessible to the public.

mySOS SA

mySOS Emergency App is a free mobile application (https://www.mysos.co.za/download.html), which gives the user access to the closest, most relevant emergency service providers, based on the user’s location, anywhere in South Africa.

The mySOS App features a dedicated myStroke “Emergency button”, for direct access to a dedicated national stroke hotline, operated by a specialist medical team at the ER24 National Emergency Call Centre who are responsible for call screening, triage, emergency advice and dispatching of emergency ambulances based on a set of international criteria.

The mySOS myStroke “Find Near Me” button also allows the public to find the closest stroke unit, no matter where they are in South Africa (https://www.mysos.co.za/help.html). It also offers the international FAST stroke screening tool, as a self assessment tool for the public.

mySOS is a free, lifesaving app and should be downloaded as soon as possible.

Emergency Medical Care

Emergency Medical Care consist of rapid patient screening, assessment and initial treatment, before and during transport to an appropriate stroke centre, based on the patient’s condition at the time of assessment, suspected diagnosis and physical location.

The treating medical provider will liaise with the ER24 National Emergency Call Centre, to ensure that patients are transported and referred to appropriate medical care facilities at all times.

Website for additional information: To find the nearest stroke unit:  www.mystroke.co.za

Contact details:

MyStroke: Dr Lynn Katsoulis 083 393 4232 lynn.katsoulis@boehringer-ingelheim.com
mySOS Dr Fanie Hattingh 082 308 0951 fanie@mysos.co.za
ER24 Dr Robyn Holgate 083 454 1638 info@er24.co.za

Also view:

Road Safety and the Elderly

Alzheimer's and Road Safety 

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Tyre Safety

Tyre Safety

Tyre Safety Tyre failure is a vital factor in thousands of road accidents every year. Research by the CSIR indicates that nearly 20% of accidents involving minibuses have tyre failure as a contributing factor. It won't help if you have the best brakes on the market, but your tyres are worn. When

Read More

Safe Driving on Gravel Roads

Safe Driving on Gravel Roads

Introduction Many licensed drivers have never driven on gravel roads or are inexperienced and unprepared for the unique challenges when doing so. This inexperience and lack of safety awareness result in too many fatal crashes and injuries on gravel roads in our rural areas. We must equip ourselves

Read More

Safe Driving on Roads with Potholes and Avoiding Pothole Damage

Safe Driving on Roads with Potholes and Avoiding Pothole Damage

Introduction We have all been confronted by poor road conditions and the threat of the dreaded pothole. It is especially on our rural roads and after the rainy seasons that the road surface comes under pressure and the cracks and holes in the road surface start to appear. In some areas, the road

Read More

Drunk Driving and Road Safety

Drunk Driving and Road Safety

Drunk Driving and Road Safety Drunk Driving is one of the biggest threats to Road Safety in South Africa. Research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres. Brief Summary: Legislation: The National Road Traffic

Read More

Compliance in the Road Freight Transport Industry in South Africa

Compliance in the Road Freight Transport Industry in South Africa

The South African freight transportation landscape fundamentally differs from that of the rest of the globe. In most other countries the fleet sizes comprise mostly of the owner of the transport business, who is also an “owner-driver” on one of his vehicles and maybe another couple of vehicles,

Read More

Treatment of and Response to Cuts and Bruises

Treatment of and Response to Cuts and Bruises

The skin is the largest organ of the human body, about 2m square in surface area and has several functions. It is also a barrier which provides protection from infection and heat loss. We need to remember that most cuts are minor and require little attention. The size of cuts, the number of cuts (also

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All