Help for Stroke Victims

Operational Research made our local radio this morning -- except that those two words were not used.  There was an interview about some research work that has been carried out by the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter concerned with the rapid treatment of stroke victims.  I hadn't heard about this research (even though it is being done a few hundred yards from my home) and my attention was caught for two reasons; first, because my late father was a stroke victim, and spent the last twenty years of his life with lateral disability; second, because the speaker on the radio talked about "computer simulation".  A little tracking down on the web led to the website of PenCHORD.  There the work is described in more detail.

In essence, the story is that the chances of survival for stroke victims are much better if the victim can be given a particular treatment (clot-busting) quickly.  BUT, the treatment concerned is not suitable for all cases of stroke, and should not be given unless the victim has received tests which need to be in hospital.  So the aim of the "computer simulation" was to look at the effects of removing bottlenecks in the flow of the patient from ambulance to ward.  Our local hospital has implemented the results with great success. 

I admit that one area of O.R. that I never got into during my working life was projects with the health services.  But I am going to follow the work of this local group.  Watch this space!


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