Grey Bruce Health Services is celebrating the one year anniversary of the Grey Bruce District Stroke Centre’s Acute Stoke Unit (ASU). The ASU opened at the Owen Sound Regional Hospital in May 2015, and has since treated approximately 200 stroke patients.

In 2015, the South West Local Health Integration Network along with Hospital CEOs agreed to consolidate stroke services from 28 hospitals in the SW LHIN to 7 designated stroke centres of excellence. The Owen Sound Hospital is the Stroke Centre for Grey and Bruce regions. As a designated stroke centre, GBHS committed to treating more than double the number of patients at the Owen Sound Hospital and opened the ASU to ensure a specialized unit dedicated to the management of stroke patients and staffed by an expert stroke team. The evidence is clear that stroke care provided on a stroke unit by staff with additional expertise reduces mortality by 30%.

Time is critical for stroke patients, and the faster they get assessed and receive appropriate treatment, the greater the chances of recovery. When patients arrive in the ER with symptoms of a stroke, they are given a CT scan as soon as possible to determine the appropriate treatment. If needed, the ER physician has videoconference access 24/7 to an on-call Stroke Neurologist for an immediate consultation. Depending on the type of treatment, the patient may stay in the Critical Care Unit, or go directly to the ASU.

“The ASU has proven to be an excellent addition to our services as a District Stroke Centre for this region,” said Lance Thurston, President and CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services. “Patients get the full spectrum of dedicated stroke expertise from the time they enter our ER, to admission into the ASU, progression to our onsite rehabilitation program, and follow-up through our community stroke rehabilitation program once patients leave hospital.”

The ASU team includes: Physicians, a Nurse Practitioner, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Dietitians, Speech Language Pathologists, Pharmacists, stroke educator and CCAC care coordinator. The ASU team meets daily to review each patient’s status, discuss questions and concerns from the patient and family, and makes sure patients are on track and prepared for discharge.

“The care I received from the stroke team was excellent,” said GBHS stroke patient, Ken Priebe. “The team quickly assessed me, took appropriate tests and responded to my stroke symptoms – all while explaining things to me and making me as comfortable as possible every step of the way to recovery.”

Media contact: Nicole Schmidt, Communications Coordinator, Grey Bruce Health Services, nischmidt@gbhs.on.ca, 519-346-2121, Ext. 2805