Stroke patients missing out on lifesaving drug

Stroke is Australia's second-largest killer, and many of the 350,000 survivors live with a disability and struggle with basic daily tasks such as eating and cooking.

The National Stroke Foundation is lobbying the federal government and opposition to commit to a $198 million action plan to boost services and increase awareness of how to prevent stroke and recognise the signs of stroke.

The foundation’s chief executive, Dr Erin Lalor (PhD), said many patients who attended hospital with stroke did not get access to declotting thrombolysis drugs that must be administered within four hours.

"If the hospital is too slow or people delay presentation to hospital, they can't have it," she said.

"It's a lifesaving drug."

She said four in 10 people were treated for stroke in general wards, rather than specialist units, and this increased their chances of death or disability.

A number of major hospitals, particularly in

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