Stroke in young adults cover

For the first time in Canada, a resource guide has been developed for young adult stroke survivors and their families. Created by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and UTSP, this guide provides help with topics such as pain, changing relationships and returning to work.

While strokes are relatively uncommon in young adults, they have experienced a rise in incidence in the last decade. Stroke rates in young adults are predicted to double in the next 15 years.

The full report can be read below, and can also be found in our website’s ‘Patient Education’ section.

Stroke In Young Adults Report


Medical residentsIn a new study conducted by St. Michael’s Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, stroke patients admitted to hospital in the month of July had similar outcomes to patients admitted in other months of the year. These findings relieve concerns about the ‘July Effect’, in which quality of care may be decreased due to the introduction of medical students into residency during the month of July.

Stroke outcomes such as mortality, hospital readmission and long term disability were not affected by the ‘July Effect’. The multidisciplinary nature of stroke treatment is thought to alleviate the effects of inexperienced medical residents providing care.

“More research is needed to understand the possible impact of less-experienced care during the initial moments of stroke management to be sure no July effect is at play at any point of stroke care,” said Dr. Saposnik.

Read the full article here.

Stroke Survivors Remain At Risk

Patients who survive the initial 90-day period after a TIA or stroke remain at high risk of negative outcomes.

Few clinics follow patients for years, but even stable patients may be at high risk. Negative outcomes include a repeat TIA or stroke, a heart attack, admittance to long-term care, or death. Within one year, approximately 10% of patients studied had one of these negative outcomes. The rate increases by 5% with each additional years, up to five years. The study involved 24,000 patients who didn’t have an event within the first 90 days.

The new research was presented by Dr. Rick Swartz at the 2014 Canadian Stroke Congress held in Vancouver, BC.

You can learn more from Heart&Stroke, at:

Too many stroke patients miss window to regain crucial functions

An article from focuses on Stroke Patients who are not getting the rehab necessary to help them return having active and healthy lives. It seems that health care systems are making decisions based on what services are available in the hospital for helping patients rather than providing patients with what they actually need.

“A majority of people who have a stroke report that they need some amount of help afterwards and 80 per cent experience restrictions to their daily activities..”


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

Stroke Month

Photo May 31, 2 17 41 PMJune is Stroke Month! Stroke Month is an exciting month dedicated to stroke education, treatment, and recovery initiatives. Stroke month will commence on June 1, 2013, and continue through the month of June. Institutions of the UTSP- Sunnybrook, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Toronto Western Hospital- will promote stroke awareness and post-stroke management with their own unique focus.

Click here to find out more information about events at Sunnybrook, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Toronto Western Hospital.

Click here to see pictures of the various events at Stroke Month.

Heart rhythm disturbance may explain many strokes | CTV News

At the International Stroke Conference 2013 in Hawaii, lead investigator Dr. David Gladstone presented new research findings that might explain the causes of stroke in individuals with no pre-determined risk factors (1).

Irregular heart rhythm (or atrial fibrillation) is known to be a risk factor of strokes, but detection through heart monitoring can lead to treatment and stroke intervention (1). However, heart monitoring normally occurs over a period of one to two days and irregular heart rhythm may occur outside this window of monitoring.

Dr. Gladstone and his team of researchers have just completed a three year clinical trial, involving 572 patients that wore a non-intrusive 30-day heart monitor. This study allowed the research team to monitor patients that tested negative for atrial fibrillation in regular monitoring and found that one in six individuals with unexplained transient ischemic attack or stroke, could be attributed to atrial fibrillation (2).

Dr. Gladstone, UTSP doctor, University of Toronto associate professor and director of the Regional Stroke Prevention Clinic of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre speaks on the study:

“The hope is that earlier detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation may lead to more strokes prevented and more lives saved,” said Dr. Gladstone (2).

Get the full news article here: Heart rhythm disturbance may explain many strokes | CTV News.

1. Study finds clue to unexplained strokes. (2013, 02 07). Retrieved from

2. Taylor , P. (2013, 02 07). A new tool in the battle to prevent strokes. Globe & Mail. Retrieved from

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.