Naughten delivering improved emergency stroke service

Both Portiuncula Hospital and Mayo General Hospital are about to get a new 24 hour a day, seven day a week emergency stroke service which will save local lives, according to Denis Naughten TD.

Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe and Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar have both taken delivery of new telemedicine stroke machines and staff have now been trained as a direct result of the persistence of Denis Naughten in ensuring that this service was expanded to local hospitals.

“Protocols are currently being finalised with the stroke consultants in University Hospital Galway and when these machines are fully operational it will ensure, for the first time ever, that the hospitals have one of the best possible emergency stroke services in the world,” stated Denis Naughten.

This is just one example of what an independent TD can achieve when they are prepared to put a case together and work the system to deliver for local communities, rather than just shouting about the problems.

He added: “The new Teledoc (TRASNA) stroke machines are two of seven which until recently were in storage in Cork waiting to be rolled out to hospitals throughout the country.”

Over the last two years Denis Naughten has been lobbying and publicly pressing both the Government and the HSE for the installation of these machines in hospitals without a full emergency stroke service and this machine will now link the hospital with the top stroke experts in the country.

“The importance of this machine to hospitals like Ballinasloe and Castlebar cannot be underestimated because if someone is diagnosed with a stroke within four hours of its onset, and cannot be treated in Castlebar, they must be transferred to Galway which is one hour and 20 minutes away or in the case of Ballinasloe 40 minutes away,” stated Denis Naughten.

“For every minute that treatment is delayed, a victim loses two million brain cells. This results in local patients losing brain function while they travel in the ambulance to Galway and as a result spending longer in hospital. They are also more likely to require long term nursing home care.”

Denis Naughten pointed out that every day, one person within the catchment of both hospitals suffers a stroke and it is the third biggest cause of death and disability in the world today with survival rates and recovery rates dependent on how quickly the patient receives the appropriate treatment.