December 21, 2016

Australia’s first ever ‘stroke ambulance’ is set to hit the road in Melbourne next year to provide the quickest possible diagnosis and treatment for patients suffering a life threatening stroke.

The Stroke Foundation is proud to be part of the consortium delivering this ground breaking, innovative research trial. 

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan has welcomed today’s $7.5 million, four-year commitment by the Victorian Government towards the operational costs of the Stroke Ambulance.

“Stroke is one of this country’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, Victorians alone suffer more than 13,000 strokes annually,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Following a stroke, brain cells die at a rate of 1.9 million a minute. Time critical medical treatments can stop and even reverse this damage.

“Time saved is brain saved, faster diagnosis and treatment in the Stroke Ambulance can save lives and reduce disability.”

The research trial is being delivered by Stroke Foundation, the Victorian Government, Ambulance Victoria, Melbourne Health, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and The University of Melbourne.

The purpose built vehicle will feature a CT scanner to be operated by Melbourne Health staff including a stroke nurse, radiographer and stroke neurologist, and Ambulance Victoria paramedics.

With a CT scanner on board, assessment and treatment of stroke can begin immediately in the field rather than waiting until the patient has arrived at hospital.

This means stroke patients can receive faster diagnosis and interventions, such as clot busting thrombolysis, giving them the best possible chance of survival and recovery.

The ambulance will then provide efficient and effective road transfer to the most appropriate hospital stroke unit for ongoing treatment, where patients will benefit from a seamless transition and connected care. CT scanner results will be instantly sent to hospital thanks to the latest telehealth technology.

The trial is due to commence in 2017 in Melbourne’s north and western suburbs.

Download the media release here

stroke ambulance