Date: 17 & 18 November 2018
Venue: Residency Tower Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram
Organized by: The Comprehensive stroke care program of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) & University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), UK
The comprehensive stroke care program of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), United Kingdom organized an international conference on Essentials of Stroke Care on 17th and 18th of November 2018 at the Residency Tower Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The objective of this conference is to improve the knowledge and skills of health professionals in the management of patients with stroke. The course coordinators of the event were Prof Dr Dame Caroline Watkins from the UCLan and Prof Dr PN Sylaja from SCTIMST.
Stroke is one of the most serious life-threatening conditions that people can suffer, which is why prompt and effective diagnosis and aftercare is incredibly important. Research conducted across the world shows that interdisciplinary stroke care dramatically improves the outcomes of patients with stroke. The road to recovery from a stroke is a long process and starts from effective emergency management and treatment in stroke units, followed by effective rehabilitation. Throughout the stroke care pathway, patients encounter a team of specialists which may include stroke specialist: neurologists, physicians, nurses, speech therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists. This unique conference offered a platform for these stroke specialists to come together and collectively share their knowledge, expertise, and experience in stroke care.
Topics such as stroke unit care, acute stroke care guidelines, post-stroke transitional care, stroke rehabilitation, and recovery were explored in the scientific deliberations. Thescientific sessions were delivered as didactic lectures and workshops. The esteemed scientific panel for the conference comprised of 12 international and 20 national experts in stroke care. The plenary sessions in the conference focused on the diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke and secondary prevention of stroke. The major highlight of the event were the interactive workshops conducted on: physiological and neurological monitoring; continence assessment and management; dysphagia assessment and management; the stroke-specific education framework; mobilization and prevention of deep vein thrombosis; sensory loss and allodynia; mood assessment and management; nutrition and hydration; positioning and shoulder care as well as dressing; care of ventilated patients; communication assessment and management; pneumonia, oral care, and hospital acquired infections; and visual field and visual spatial assessment and management. All the workshop sessions had an Indian lead and the UK lead. While the UK lead outlined the international practices in each arena, it was supplemented by the inputs of Indian lead, who focused on how best we could incorporate these advances in Indian scenarios. To build the capacity for stroke care at the grass root levels, primary care physicians and nurses working across various district hospitals under the government of Kerala were also trained in this conference. This kind a training will help in building a network of health professionals in the governments sector, so that in the longer run, stroke care at the secondary and primary care hospitals will improve.
The program was the first-of-its-kind held in the country to encompass a multidisciplinary team approach with national and international expertswho are part of stroke care and rehabilitation.The conference was supported by the National Institute of Health Research,UK and endorsed by World Stroke Organization (WSO), the Indian Stroke Association (ISA) and the George Institute for Global Health (GIGH) India. The event was attended by 350 delegates from across India.
The conference was organized as part of an on-going research project “IMPROVISE” which focuses on improving stroke care in India. IMPROVISE is an investigator initiated international collaborative multi-centre study funded by the National Institute of Health Research, UK. Professor Dame Caroline Watkins, Faculty Director of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire, in collaboration with the George Institute for Global Health, India embarked on this three-year research program to create a global partnership that can improve stroke care in India. Dr Jeyaraj Pandian at Christian Medical College, Ludhiana; Dr P N Sylaja at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum; and Dr M V Padma at All India Institute for Medical Sciences, New Delhi from India are involved in this project.
Funding: This research was commissioned by the National Institute of Health Research using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.