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Stroke Assessment and Treatment Team at St. Michael’s Hospital wins award

In June 2013, the Health Disciplines Professional Practice and Education Recognition Event was held at St. Michael’s Hospital. The Stroke Assessment and Treatment Team (SATT) was recognized and awarded the Interprofessional Collaboration Award. This award is given to a team that makes an outstanding contribution towards patient care. The SATT team is an interprofessional team consisting of neurologists, clinical nurse specialists, dietitians, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a speech-language pathologist, and a discharge planner.

LR stroke team-0353

Cheerful group of young people looking at the camera.

Stroke in the young

Young people can have strokes, too.

Dr. Richard Swartz from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center is aware that stroke can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity. Risk factors for stroke are seen in the young more and more as childhood obesity rates are increasing. However, most strokes that occur in the young are caused by other rare factors.

Dr. Cheryl Jaigobin who sees young stroke survivors at Toronto General Hospital speaks to the media about stroke in the young. Click here to find out more:–young-people-have-strokes-too

Click here for more information.


Stroke specialists’ race against the clock to save patients in new trial

A stopwatch could mean the difference to receiving faster care for time-sensitive treatments such as tPA for stroke in the Emergency Room.
“This is a simple low-cost innovation that we hope will help to improve the outcomes of patients with acute stroke,” says Dr. Richard Swartz, principal investigator of the study and Director of the Stroke Research Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
A large red LED stopwatch clock was attached to the stretcher of stroke patients at the moment of their arrival in the emergency room to act as a constant visual reminder to all team members of the urgency of the situation.

CLOQS is an UTSP study, which would require cooperation from all three sites. More information on the CLOQS trial can be found here.

Watch Dr. Swartz on YouTube below.

Delirium after stroke linked to poorer outcomes

According to a new study from Dr. Selchen, Dr. Saposnik and colleagues of St. Michael’s Hospital, up to 30% of hospitalized patients will develop delirium after a stroke. These patients are more likely to die, to be discharged to a long-term care facility, or to stay longer in the hospital.

“Early recognition and prevention of delirium are important for a quick recovery, better quality of life and timely discharge for patients who have suffered a stroke,” said Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, lead author of the paper and director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Centre at the hospital.

His goal is to have early detection and intervention to improve outcomes for stroke patients and their families.

The paper is published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

For the original article, please visit the hospital’s newsroom.


Stroke awareness among women too low: report

“Stroke is urgent. Knowing and reacting immediately to stroke warning signs is essential,” said Dr. Frank Silver, neurologist from Toronto Western Hospital.

According to a national telephone survey, only 23% of women could name even just one stroke warning sign.

Do you know your stroke warning signs? Click here to find out more information and to read the original article.

iScore a valuable tool for clinicians

The iScore, developed by Dr. Gustavo Saposnik and colleagues, is a validated tool used to estimate outcomes after an acute ischemic stroke. It is able to predict clinical response and risk of hemorrhagic transformation after tPA. This is for informative purposes only and is not meant to be used as a substitute for professional advice.

Click here to find out more.

The article is available at

The iScore is available at

Available on the iPhone App Store

Video games are good for stroke patients

video games

Dr. Gustavo Saposnik goes ‘Viral’ with his Work on Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehabilitation! According to the American Heart Association, “With more than 200 million media impressions, including coverage from USA Today, US News and World Report, Business Week, WebMD, LA Times, CNBC, MSNBC, as well as great local coverage on a number of local TV stations throughout the country”, UTSP member Dr. Gustavo Saposnik’s article, “Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehabilitation: A meta-analysis and implications for clinicians” published on-line first in Stroke, has received some of the highest media attention out of the studies AHA highlighted this year.”

Click here to read his article:

His study concluded that video games and virtual reality are potentially useful technologies that can be combined with standard rehabilitation for upper arm improvement after stroke.

Click here to find out more:

New Inpatient Stroke & Neurovascular Unit and Outpatient Day Unit (TAMS)

Dr. Frank Silver and Dr. Leanne Casaubon are part of the Krembil Neuroscience Center in Toronto Western Hospital.

“We designed our neurovascular unit based on extensive research that shows stroke units in hospitals improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Frank Silver. This in-patient unit contains 20 beds for patients with stroke and neurovascular conditions. These patients will be cared for in an organized and designated stroke unit which can reduce death and disability.

In addition to this, a day unit for transient ischemic attacks (TIA) and minor strokes was formed, known as the TAMS Unit. This is Toronto’s only day-unit, its development led by Dr. Leanne Casaubon. The stroke team at Krembil Neuroscience Center strongly believes that this is an effective way at assessing and treating patients.

“The key to caring for these patients is getting tests done urgently to identify conditions that predispose patients to a higher risk of stroke and that warrant specific treatments, or to confirm there is no imminent danger of a major stroke. Furthermore, it is important that we educate patients about stroke and stroke prevention, including lifestyle changes and treatments for stroke risk factors,” said Dr. Leanne Casaubon.

For the full story, please click here.

TIAs or mini strokes – What are the signs?

TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) are like mini strokes that put people at serious risk of having a full-blown stroke often within days. For any sudden onset of speech problems, vision problems, problems moving one side of the body or other, call 911 and go to the emergency room right away.

Dr. Richard Swartz comments on the signs of TIA. Watch him on YouTube below.


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