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November 25, 2010
For immediate release

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot up and running at Prince County Hospital

Health PEI

The first phase of the Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island is now complete with the launch of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital (PCH), says Health and Wellness Minister Carolyn Bertram.

“Government remains committed to implementing a provincial Organized Stroke Care model to help improve the lives of Islanders who are either at risk of suffering a stroke or who have suffered a stroke,” said Minster Bertram. “It is important that we continue work in partnership with Health PEI to promote a timely and coordinated provincial approach to prevention, early assessment and comprehensive care by interdisciplinary health care teams across the continuum of care. The establishment of the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot at Prince County Hospital is a key part of that approach and will lay the foundation for future clinics across the Island.”

Secondary stroke prevention is focussed on patients who have already experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a non-disabling stroke, and those who are at high risk of stroke.

“The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot provides out-patient follow-up care for acute TIA patients and post-acute stroke patients,” said Dr. Doug Carmody, Internist at PCH and medical lead for the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot. “This pilot offers a patient-centred approach to specifically address risk factors for stroke including assistance with lifestyle management and assessment by a coordinated clinical staff with specialized training in TIA and stroke management.”

People who suffer a stroke or a TIA are at high risk of recurrent strokes and other vascular events. Quick identification of risk factors and appropriate treatment is critical to prevent further strokes and the possibility of even greater damage and disability. A TIA is an important warning sign that a person is at increased risk of a full-blown stroke.

Major risk factors for stroke include age, high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. 83 per cent of Islanders have at least one of these major risk factors and 45 per cent have at least two.

The Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic pilot will initially receive referrals for patients who have been identified as having a known or suspected acute TIA or stroke and who live within the Prince County catchment area. The purpose of the pilot is to evaluate and plan for the appropriate resource requirements prior to expanding the Secondary Stroke Prevention service provincially.

The establishment of the pilot at PCH completes the first phase of the three-phased Organized Stroke Care Model for Prince Edward Island. Government has invested $2.1 million into phase one which includes the Secondary Stroke Prevention Pilot Clinic at PCH, as well as creating and filling a Provincial Stroke Care Coordinator position and instituting an acute in-patient stroke unit and in-patient stroke rehabilitation unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Phase two, includes the establishment of district-level ambulatory stroke rehabilitation services, a provincial roll-out of secondary stroke prevention services, and provincial stroke rehabilitation assessment clinic. Phase three includes the establishment of community re-integration services. Phases two and three will be implemented over the next two years.

Health PEI is responsible for coordinating and delivering Organized Stroke Care services.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability. In PEI, there are approximately 350 strokes annually – this equals about one stroke every day.

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Media Contact: Amanda Hamel
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