New stroke unit “saved his life”

9th May 2013

Donald Bayley, 80, from Sutton Coldfield, was making a cup of tea when his wife Pam noticed his mouth had drooped and he could no longer talk.

Pam said: “Don was making a pot of tea when he suddenly stopped and grabbed hold of the worktop.

“I knew there was something really wrong when I couldn’t get a response from him. When I managed to sit him down, he just slumped off the chair.

“Our local hospital doesn’t have an out of hour’s emergency service, so the paramedics bought us to Sandwell Hospital where Don received the treatment which saved his life.”

Doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department at Sandwell Hospital received an alert at 6.15pm letting them know that Donald was on his way to the hospital with a suspected stroke.

When Donald arrived at 6.18pm specialist staff from the newly opened hyper-acute stroke unit were waiting to assess and treat him.

Dr Kamel Sharobeem, Clinical Director of Stroke Medicine, said: “Donald was admitted to A&E with a severe stroke which had affected his speech and comprehension, and caused a significant weakness in his right arm and leg.

“When he arrived, my team and I were on hand to assess his condition. He had a CT brain scan and was given a clot busting drug (thrombolysis) within 30 minutes of arrival.

“It is vital that stroke patients receive treatment very quickly to increase the chance of a full recovery; as we say, time is brain.

“By centralising the Trust’s stroke services at Sandwell Hospital all of the consultants, doctors, nurses, imaging staff and therapists are located on one site, ensuring patients from across the region receive the best care possible when they are admitted to our hospital.

“Donald’s recovery is evidence of successful teamwork between paramedics and hospital staff to administer treatment as quickly as possible.”

Pam said: “Don has been in the stroke unit for three weeks now and the care he has had has been marvellous; we couldn’t fault it.”

Donald’s daughter Karen said: “We are amazed with the progress dad has made as a result of being treated so quickly.”

Donald is now up and about and has moved to the stroke rehabilitation ward where his is receiving treatment from occupational and speech and language therapists.

Dr David Nicholl, Clinical Director of Neurology, said: “It is essential that people know the signs and symptoms of stroke because the quicker an ambulance can bring the patient to Accident and Emergency, the sooner a diagnosis can be made and treatment administered.”

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