When Lorna Friess of Cooking Lake, Alberta had her stroke, no one was around to save her. As one of the lucky ones, Lorna survived. Not all people who have strokes, especially those who live beyond city limits, are so fortunate.
That’s why the University Hospital Foundation is committed to raising $3.3 million to fully fund a stroke ambulance - the first of its kind in Canada, and the first in the world to provide mobile stroke care to people living in rural communities.
Fully equipped with a CT scanner, portable lab equipment, clot-busting drugs and state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, the stroke ambulance is a virtual emergency-room-on-wheels that will travel to the patient, and meet the incoming ambulance at a predetermined location, enabling much faster stroke treatment to patients who don’t live near a stroke treatment centre or major hospital.
The stroke ambulance is expected to cut time-to-treatment in half. What does that mean? Reducing time-to-treatment by as much as 50% will give more stroke patients a greater chance to receive the life-saving care they need - before it’s too late.
6,500 Albertans suffer an acute stroke every year. Approximately 1,000 of these patients are admitted to the University of Alberta Hospital for care. Of those, more than 300 come from outside the Edmonton zone.
In fact, the time from stroke onset to treatment is the single most important determinant of outcome following an ischemic stroke.
Strokes can happen anytime, anywhere. By adding Canada’s first Stroke Ambulance and a new, state-of-the-art endovascular suite at the University of Alberta Hospital, we will expand our capacity to save the lives of stroke patients.
At a cost of $3.3 million, the Stroke Ambulance will provide stroke care on wheels to patients living outside Edmonton. At a cost of $1.7 million, a second endovascular suite will double the number of life-saving procedures to remove blood clots in large arteries leading to the brain.
Your support is critical in making these two initiatives happen. And to keeping the University of Alberta Hospital the go-to centre for stroke care in northern Alberta, the Territories, eastern British Columbia and Saskatchewan.