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Here's how a simple monitor is helping reduce strokes at Airedale Hospital

Here's how a simple monitor is helping reduce strokes at Airedale Hospital

Published at 8:02am 21st April 2019.

Photo shows L to R: Eileen Proud, President of Friends, John Lofthouse, Chairman and Pam Beaumont, Stroke Clinical Nurse Specialist

A new piece of equipment at Airedale Hospital is helping to reduce the risk of strokes. 

  • Friends of Airedale have funded a vital heart monitor for the stroke unit
  • The pocket sized device detects atrial fibrillation (AF), which is often found in stroke patients 
  • The stroke team says they are now detecting a third of their patients with AF, which is higher than the national detection rate  

Friends of Airedale have funded the heart monitor, which helps detect heart conditions and reduce the risk of further strokes.

The pocket sized Novacor device monitors for a heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AF), which is often found in patients who subsequently have a stroke. 

A person with AF is five times more likely to have a stroke than someone without the condition and according to research 3 out of 4 strokes could have been prevented if AF had been detected.

The stroke unit cares for 350 patients and their families every year. 

By using the monitors the stroke team say they are now detecting a third of their patients with AF, which is higher than the national AF detection rate of 22%.   

Patients are able to be monitored over longer periods and carry on with their normal activities while wearing it.

Pam Beaumont Stroke Clinical Nurse Specialist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:

“You are stopping lots of big strokes by having this simple monitor on.

"For example we’ve had a patient arrive this week having had a stroke. 

"We are trying to find out the reason for her stroke and it could be AF.  People go in and out of that AF rhythm over a period of time so we can’t do a plain ECG, we have to use this monitor. 

"So for that lady she was on the monitor within a few hours of her admission. 

"Previously we had to use monitors from the cardiac team which could involve a wait of a few weeks but by using these we can get patients on the medication straight away. 

"We are responding very quickly to the cause of the stroke and then getting our patients on medication for treatment."

The trust started using the monitors in 2016 and this is the 4th monitor on the unit, at a cost of £1500 each. 

Eileen Proud, President of Friends of Airedale says:

“I’ve had experience of these monitors as we helped buy 3 of these in 2016 and one of the first to be used was on my brother, so I’m aware how important they are and how they cut down diagnosis time.”