A stroke is a potentially life threatening condition that can happen at any time. Most occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain. Less commonly, a stroke is caused by a blood vessel bursting in the brain causing a bleed. Either way, the brain becomes damaged & this can affect a person’s physical &/or mental abilities.
A TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack or “mini-stroke”) is a stroke which lasts for less than 24 hours.
We have had a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) at Wycombe Hospital, treating people in the first few hours & days after stroke, since 2011. This has historically served the residents of Buckinghamshire & since January 2017 this was expanded to include patients from East Berkshire too.
As a result of this, Wycombe has the largest HASU in the Thames Valley. The Stroke team have been recognised as providing a high quality service & typically achieve an ‘A’ rating in the Royal College of Physicians audit, putting us in the top 20% of Trusts nationally.
Overview of types of studies open to volunteers
Most of our patients are recruited to studies when on the HASU or the rehabilitation Stroke Unit, although some are recruited from the TIA clinics or the Stroke follow up clinics.
We have a range of studies, with some being very simple to take part in with no change to standard care & others involving extra tests (for example extra scans) &/or new medication or existing medicines being used in a new way.
Some of our studies are looking at improving management in the first hours & days after a stroke happens, some are looking at improving rehabilitation & reducing complications after stroke, & others are looking at why people have strokes (for example genetic factors) & what we can do to prevent recurrence in the long term.