The European Stroke Organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim launch the “Angels Initiative”, a unique healthcare initiative to improve acute stroke care across Europe
Suffering a stroke is one of the most devastating medical emergencies that can happen to a person. It is also a great challenge for the medical personnel treating the patient, trying to save their patients’ life and independence. If patients are treated as quickly as possible and according to best standard of care in dedicated stroke centres, their chances of survival and a disability-free life can be improved dramatically. However, over two thirds of acute stroke patients in Europe are currently not treated in such a dedicated stroke centre. The Angels Initiative, launched by the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) and Boehringer Ingelheim, wants to address this problem to improve stroke care across Europe.
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“Currently, less than a third of stroke patients are treated in dedicated stroke centres. This means that thousands of patients fail to get the specialist care they urgently need”, highlighted Professor Valeria Caso, President of the European Stroke Organisation. “Our vision is for stroke patients to receive the same level of treatment wherever they live in Europe and thus preventing disability and death. To achieve this, we need to increase the number of stroke ready hospitals and we need to optimize the quality of treatment in all existing stroke centres.”
The European Angels Initiative, which was now launched by the ESO and Boehringer Ingelheim, aims at building a community of at least 1,500 stroke centres and stroke ready hospitals across Europe by May 2019. To achieve this, the initiative will support hospitals and physicians in setting up or improving stroke centres through various measures, which have been developed together with a steering committee of leading stroke experts from around the world. These measures include educational tools and programmes, support for in-hospital process optimization and a community platform for peer-to-peer exchange and access to the world’s leading stroke specialists.
“The Angels Initiative helps hospitals to improve their process flow so that patients are treated earlier and in a better, more structured manner”, explained Dr Georg van Husen, Senior Vice President, Therapeutic Area CardioMetabolism, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are funding this unprecedented health initiative, because it aims at structurally improving the health care system needed to treat acute stroke patients in the best possible way. Over the next five years, this presents an opportunity to give 500,000 stroke patients a better chance of life.”
The Angels Initiative, which is fully funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, is part of a broader program with a commitment to add value in stroke care in a holistic way and to ultimately reduce the burden of stroke by improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of acute strokes.
It builds on the experience from earlier successful implementations of stroke care improvement projects designed and conducted by Boehringer Ingelheim in developing countries, amongst others in the Middle East & North Africa region, India and South Africa. For example, the number of patients in India now receiving acute stroke treatment has increased 3-fold through these improvements.
Interested hospitals and physicians can find more information and sign up to become part of the Angels Initiative at www.angels-initiative.com .
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