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The Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton. Image: Submitted/Horizon Health Network

Stroke patient pilot project sees promising results

By Brad Perry Apr 4, 2024 | 12:00 PM

Stroke patients throughout New Brunswick will soon get faster access to CT scans thanks to a new pilot project.

Horizon Health and Ambulance New Brunswick partnered to undertake the pilot project at Fredericton’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.

Paramedics identify a potential stroke patient based on symptoms and alert emergency department staff

They, in turn, enact the stroke team an determine the estimated arrival time, ensuring imaging staff are ready to perform a CT scan as soon as possible.

Those patients received a CT scan within 14 minutes of arrival, down from an average of 67 minutes and below the national standard of 15 minutes.

Greg Doiron, vice-president of clinical operations at Horizon, said ensuring quick access to CT scans is critical for stroke patients.

“When someone is having a stroke, they only have four and a half hours to receive treatment before there is permanent damage,” said Doiron.

“Receiving a CT scan is only the first part in diagnosing stroke, so the significant reduction in time will greatly increase chances of survival and recovery for our patients.”

Officials said the pilot project will be expanded across Horizon sites over the coming year.