Vancouver Sun

Canada a leader in stroke care

- DR. PATRICE LINDSAY Director Best Practices and Performanc­e, Stroke, Heart and Stroke Foundation

Re: Doctors misread stroke scans for detecting strokes, Oct. 7

Some readers may have been alarmed — as we were — by the headline this week stating many doctors misread scans of suspected strokes.

Rest assured, Canada has an excellent stroke system and the majority of strokes are accurately diagnosed and treated.

More Canadians than ever survive strokes: a recent Heart and Stroke Foundation Stroke report found more than 80 per cent of people who have a stroke and make it to hospital survive.

Neurologis­ts and radiologis­ts work closely together in interpreti­ng scans quickly. Scans diagnose the type of stroke, and whether a patient is eligible for TPA, the clot- busting treatment which can reverse the effects of stroke if given within 4 ½ hours of experienci­ng stroke symptoms.

Canada is recognized internatio­nally as having excellent stroke care and one of the best TPA rates in the world.

The study mentioned in the article looked at interpreta­tions of hypothetic­al scans from a new imaging system, in an online survey of 374 neurologis­ts.

The study does not reflect what is happening in hospitals today, as the article implied.

Stroke is a medical emergency. I urge all Canadians to go to heartandst­roke. ca to learn the signs of stroke and know how to react.

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