Stroke: aetiology, identification, management and the future

Stroke is a significant clinical event and a medical emergency. More than 100 000 individuals in the UK experience a stroke annually, with one in four strokes occurring in people of working age. Stroke care costs the UK economy £25.6 billion a year. Evidence suggests that 90% of strokes are preventable, and there are some key modifiable risk factors. Stroke assessment and management are improving, with new pharmacological and surgical treatments, including mechanical thrombectomy. Recent advances in the use of technology and artificial intelligence for rapid radiological interpretation to aid decision making are fundamentally improving stroke management. A strategic stroke framework was launched in 2021, with the aim of improving care throughout the whole stroke pathway from prehospital management to rehabilitation and recovery. This paper outlines the aetiology of acute stroke in adults, related conditions, risk factors, assessment, treatments and financial implications, and discusses the new frameworks for stroke care as they apply to prehospital practice.

Lynda Sibson -