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Unique Medical Guidelines to be Launched

Media Release: 24 October 2008


Unique Medical Guidelines to be Launched

The New Zealand Stroke Foundation has created a unique set of Guidelines to help GPs and DHBs deal more effectively with Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs).

This latest initiative from the Stroke Foundation - endorsed by the Ministry of Health - is an effort to save lives and avert the real danger of thousands of New Zealanders unnecessarily suffering the impact of a full stroke. Too many people ignore the symptoms of TIAs when they present an opportunity to avert a major stroke, according to Dr John Gommans, one of the Stroke Foundation medical advisors who compiled the Guidelines.

“It is not widely recognized that a TIA is a medical emergency,” said Dr Gommans. “People who have one are at high risk of suffering a full stroke in the next few hours or days.”

“We’ve recognized that urgent assessments and treatment can prevent many of the 7,600 strokes that happen annually. So these Guidelines, if widely disseminated and used properly, should save the lives of thousands of New Zealanders.”

As well as saving lives and reducing long-term care, adoption of these guidelines, could well save millions of dollars in health expenditure: “Based on a generally accepted figure of $50,000 for each new stroke in direct health costs funded by DHBs, a relatively low number of strokes need to be prevented after TIA to justify improved services for people with TIA.”

The NZ Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Transient and Ischaemic Atack (TIA) will be officially launched by Karen Thomas, CEO of the Royal NZ College of GPs, at 3.20pm on Friday 24 October. This will be part of NZ’s first ever Stroke Forum and Nursing Symposium, at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington.

The Forum and Symposium, organized by the Stroke Foundation of NZ, features several international and national stroke experts, including Dr Clay Johnston from the University of California (USA), and Dr Lin Perry from the Newcastle Institute of Public Health (NSW)./.


ENDS

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