Hong Kong clinic reduces risk factors for those recovering from strokes
Special service at hospital offers sufferers advice on lifestyles in an attempt to stop further attacks
Regular follow-ups by stroke patients when they are allowed home help reduce the risk of further attacks, a hospital has found.
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital said a six-month service, first offered in October 2011, has increased the number of healthier stroke victims – those with fewer risk factors such as obesity or hypertension – from about 50 per cent in 2012 to close to 80 per cent last year.
The service, managed by a seven-strong stroke clinic, monitors health conditions, offers healthy lifestyle advice and counselling to patients to prevent repeated attacks.
According to overseas statistics, about 10 per cent of patients will suffer another stroke within a year of the last one.
In its first four years of service, the clinic kept its patients’ rate of recurrence between 2 and 3 per cent. Those with satisfactory blood pressure also increased from around 40 per cent in 2012 to more than 80 per cent last year.
“Doctors are very busy and they may miss some patients’ needs. Nurses in the clinic are like friends and have to understand the concerns of patients through deep conversation,” May Mok Yuet-ngor, the hospital’s consultant nurse on strokes, said.
Those recovering from strokes are given a 30-minute appointment with the clinic a month after their discharge from hospital.
This is followed by a second session two months later. More sessions are arranged if the nurses think they are necessary.
Wong Kam-nung, 65, is one of the 400 patients who benefit from the service every year.
She has been followed up by nurses since suffering a stroke in April that also affected her ability to speak.
“Nurses explained in detail to me how to take medications. I also followed their advice on diet and exercises,” said Wong, who tried hard to utter the correct words to express her thoughts.
“Doctors would not tell me that much during consultation,” she added.
Now she has managed to bring her cholesterol back to normal levels, and has lost 10 kilograms thanks to diet advice from nurses,
She eats more vegetables and takes meals regularly.