Save a minute - Save a day

Every minute counts in the treatment of stroke patients

University: RMIT

Industry Partner: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Industry Supervisor: Professor Leonid Churilov

IDTC Student: Mahsa Keshtkaran

Academic Supervisor: Professor John Hearne, School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences

Stroke is the third most common cause of death, and the sixth most common cause of disability around the world. While treatment of hyperacute stroke patients is known to be time-critical, there has previously been no model to measure the long term effects of small reductions in treatment delays for stroke patients.

In conjunction with industry partner Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and as a part of a team of Australian and international collaborators, IDTC researcher Mahsa Keshtkaran has implemented a model that demonstrated that each minute of stroke onset-to-treatment time saved results on average in an 1.8 days of extra healthy life.

In the study, which included the observation of 2,258 patients, it was concluded that each 15 minute decrease in treatment time provided an average of one month additional disability-free life per patient.

Since the publishing of this research in the flagship journal ‘Stroke’ in 2014, the team has utilised this evidence to not only create awareness of the extent that time plays in treatment, but to promote a practice change within hospitals aimed at maximizing patients’ life time benefits.

Further research allowed the team to develop a standardized decision support model that can be used to assist health care professionals choose appropriate treatment pathways for stroke patients, leading to an increase in long-term benefits to patients after treatment.