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Hester Benson discusses the importance of early access to medical treatments and utilising readily available technology. By Hester Benson, Facilitator Good morning! Yesterday evening marked the close of the second day of 2014’s Stroke Forum (or #UKSF14 for the Twitter-savvy among you). Although there were several breakfast sessions running from 8:00am, my day started slightly later with plenary 1 in the main auditorium, chaired by Professor Thompson Robinson, UK Stroke Forum Chair and Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Leicester. The session focussed on recent trials in hyperacute stroke and included talks given by Dr. Anne Alexandrov on optimal positioning (comparing the patient being laid flat to at 30 degrees), Christine Roffe of Keele University (discussing prevention and treatment options for post-stroke hypoxia), Dr. Nikola Sprigg of the University of Nottingham (on the reasons and methods for use of therapeutic hypothermia (TH)), and Professor Philip Bath of the University of Nottingham (discussing the arguments around lowering blood pressure after stroke). The entire session was a wonderful presentation of some of the really recent findings around hyperacute care for stroke survivors, hammering home the importance of early access to medical treatments. After lunch I was looking forward the ‘brag and steal’ session, as it was my favourite session at last year’s forum, and this year it did not disappoint. There was a large emphasis on utilising readily available technology such as involving apps and tablets in self-rehabilitation. Ruth Siewruk and Rachel Stephens (of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust) discussed the development of an app database which would store information on useful apps created to assist in rehabilitation. Another interesting talk was given by Isla McMakin (a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board) on the use of positive psychology techniques with stroke patients recruited on ward up to three months post-stroke. She drew upon her own personal work and previous research done with other patient groups, and presented a very positive argument for the introduction of this method. I’m sorry to be brief, but that’s all from me this morning, folks. Now please do excuse me as I dash off to locate some coffee!
Date Published: 04/12/2014