In recognition of World Stroke Day, Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) and the World Stroke Organization (WSO) joined together for the third year to raise awareness of stroke and discuss the Road Map for Quality Stroke Care at a press conference held today at the World Stroke Congress in Hyderabad, India. Yesterday, WSO launched the Road Map, which provides the framework for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of stroke services globally. Medtronic is one of the sponsors of the Road Map. India was chosen for the launch to coincide with the World Stroke Congress in Hyderabad and World Stroke Day.
The Road Map will provide guidance for local healthcare officials and stroke care clinical groups for the selection of evidence-based recommendations, approaches to implementations in clinical practice and the calculation of performance measures to create an environment of continuous quality improvement.
“India is facing a stroke epidemic. The Road Map’s introduction is timely and will help our country take positive steps to address the impact of this disease,” said Jeyaraj Durai Pandian, head of neurology, Christian Medical College (CMC), Ludhiana, Punjab, India.
Currently, the stroke incidence in India is much higher than Western industrialized countries. With a population of 1.2 billion, 1.8 million people suffer from stroke and one-third of those afflicted die annually.[i] A 2013 study showed that approximately 23 percent of Indians are unaware of stroke warning symptoms.[ii]
Advances in stroke treatment have been significant in recent years and stroke treatment guidelines have begun to reflect those changes; however, many countries, including India, are still struggling to implement the latest guidelines and ensure that patients are getting the appropriate treatment within the recommended time frame.
“Every day we see the impact that innovative treatment solutions can have on acute ischemic stroke patients,” said Madan Krishnan, vice president of Indian Sub-continent at Medtronic. “We are committed to working with our partners to ensure that stroke patients in India and across the world have access to the right treatment at the right time.”
In addition to improving stroke care, Medtronic through its partnerships with WSO and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is focused on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke. The signs of stroke may include drooping or numbness in the face; sudden weakness or numbness of one arm; trouble speaking; trouble seeing; loss of balance; or severe headache with no known cause. If someone is exhibiting any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
“The speed at which someone gets medical attention during a stroke is critical to the opportunity for complete recovery. On World Stroke Day and year-round, WSO works to improve awareness of this devastating disease,” said Professor Werner Hacke, president, World Stroke Organization. “Ensuring proper treatment is available is the second part of the equation. Through our new Road Map, we are helping to improve the processes of care and, ultimately, positively impact patient outcomes.”
In 2016, WSO and Medtronic’s partnership has focused on the treatability of stroke, recognizing that although stroke is a complex medical issue, there are ways to significantly reduce its impact. In addition, awareness of stroke signs and symptoms plays a critical role and is a focus of the partnership’s efforts.
“On World Stroke Day, WSO and Medtronic are working to increase stroke awareness and ensure people know that stroke is treatable,” said Stacey Pugh, vice president and general manager of the Neurovascular business, which is part of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic. “With treatment options such as the Solitaire stent retriever plus IV-tPA, patient outcomes can be improved. We are committed to continuing to fight stroke, not only through awareness efforts, but also by providing innovative stroke treatment solutions.”
Each year on World Stroke Day Medtronic encourages people to take 2 minutes to learn about the signs of stroke and then tell 2 people about those signs as part of the global “Take 2…Tell 2” campaign. People can share their stroke stories by visitinghttp://www.take2forstroke.com and by posting on social media using the hashtag #take2forstroke. Raising awareness can help others recognize the signs of stroke.