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New Regional Acute Stroke Unit opens in Niagara Falls

Posted May 3rd, 2010

Niagara Falls, Ontario:Beginning tomorrow, Niagara stroke patients will have access to enhanced care with the opening of a new 10-bed acute stroke unit at Greater Niagara General (GNG) Site.

“Last year, Niagara Health treated 750 patients suffering from acute stroke or a mini-stroke,” Niagara Health System (NHS) Health Program Director Su Bolibruck told an audience gathered today for the official opening of the new unit. “At any given time, we have eight to 10 stroke patients in acute care beds across our sites who would receive more co-ordinated care if they were clustered geographically.”

The unit will provide care for patients from across the region who are recovering from acute stroke or mini stroke (called transient ischemic attack or TIA).

The acute stroke unit is in newly-renovated space at GNG’s Unit D and clinical staff have had extensive training to meet clinical protocols. Patient rooms have fully accessible washrooms, separate sinks in each room for better infection control, ceiling-mounted patient lifts, and cabling for video consultation with regional and provincial partners.

Already the location of the Niagara District Stroke Centre with a specially trained ER stroke team, it was natural to expand the stroke program at GNG. “When we developed the Hospital Improvement Plan a few years ago, one of our cornerstones was the concept of clustering patients with similar conditions so that a specialized care team could provide treatment,” NHS Board Chair Betty-Lou Souter told guests. “This is our goal in a number of program areas, and having a dedicated stroke unit is a key component of our plan. We’ve now expanded Greater Niagara General Site’s role to be the inpatient and outpatient centre for stroke care, serving all of Niagara.”

On the new unit, an inter-disciplinary healthcare team will deliver therapy and acute hospital care for patients for up to 10 days before they are transferred to Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre for rehabilitation.

“Patients will be treated under strict guidelines, protocols and checklists and we know they will do better,” says Dr. Don Chew, Neurologist and chief physician for the stroke program. “The staff giving them care have experience and the right skill set. An acute stroke unit is the standard of care now around the world.”

A Public Open House is being held from 3 to 6 p.m. where the public can see the newly-renovated patient rooms, speak to members of the stroke team, watch a video of stroke survivor Walter Gretzky, and take home stroke information. Free parking in the Allied Health Building lot only.

For more information, contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Public Affairs Consultant
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System