Round the clock research into hyper acute stroke treatments accredited

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has been designated a Hyper Acute Stroke Research Centre by the National Institute for Health Research’s assessment panel.

On the 1 April 2015 the Trust was officially accredited, providing consenting patients with round-the-clock access to clinical research into breakthrough stroke treatments.

Professor Roland Veltkamp, chair of the department of stroke medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said: “When stroke happens, the first few hours are critical. In recent years treatment has drastically improved by implementing hyper acute stroke units (HASU), including ours at Charing Cross Hospital, which provide specialist ‘clot-busting’ therapies within hours of onset. However, this time sensitivity has made undertaking research a challenge.”

“We now have two additional research nurses, funded by the Clinical Research Network, allowing us to capture this window of opportunity by having the capacity to take part in research 24 hours a day, whenever stroke occurs.  Being accredited as a Hyper Acute Stroke Research Centre is an exciting step as we further embed research into our clinical practice and push forward advancements in our ability to treat stroke.”

The Trust will participate in several studies addressing emergency therapy for acute ischemic stroke which occurs when there is an obstruction in the blood vessel restricting blood flow to the brain. This includes studies which seek to improve reopening of a blocked brain vessel by using catheters, drugs or through a combination of technologies and drugs.

Other trials the Trust will take part in seek to protect the brain by physical measures such as hypothermia or by drugs.

The Trust will also now be able to offer leading experimental therapies for patients with brain bleedings including drugs that stop continued bleeding into the brain as well as trials testing the use of minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures.

Imperial College Healthcare is the ninth trust to be accredited, joining a strong network of research centres across England which will hopefully lead to substantial findings into best practice and improved outcomes for stroke patients throughout the country.