Log in with your email address username.


Attention doctorportal newsletter subscribers,

After December 2018, we will be moving elements from the doctorportal newsletter to MJA InSight newsletter and rebranding it to Insight+. If you’d like to continue to receive a newsletter covering the latest on research and perspectives in the medical industry, please subscribe to the Insight+ newsletter here.

As of January 2019, we will no longer be sending out the doctorportal email newsletter. The final issue of this newsletter will be distributed on 13 December 2018. Articles from this issue will be available to view online until 31 December 2018.

Stroke care in Australia: why is it still the poor cousin of health care?

To the Editor: In their editorial on stroke care in Australia, Hoffman and Lindley state “only 7% of ischaemic stroke patients received thrombolysis treatment, yet for every 100 patients who receive it, there are up to 10 extra independent survivors”,1 citing the most recent meta-analysis.2 This research also found a significant increase in the risk of early death with thrombolysis, mostly from intracranial haemorrhage. For the individual patient, predicting final neurological outcome is difficult in the early hours after the onset of stroke. Patients considering thrombolysis treatment must weigh up an increased risk of early death against possible improvement in final function if they survive. In addition, any benefits from thrombolysis appear modest at best.

The third International Stroke Trial (IST-3), the most recently published and largest randomised trial of thrombolysis in stroke, in fact showed no improvement in the proportion of patients alive and independent at 6 months.3 Hoffman and Lindley describe a number of evidence–practice gaps, including early assessment for transient ischaemic attack and access to multidisciplinary stroke unit care. Patients and the community may…