St George’s is now the first hospital in the UK to have a fully staffed 24/7 thrombectomy service for acute stroke.

The service the Trust provides covers the south London area, as well as parts of Surrey and Kent.

Thrombectomy is a surgical procedure to remove blood clots blocking blood flow to the brain and restore blood flow to the affected area.

85% of all strokes are caused by blood clots which can be dissolved by medication if given within 4.5 hours of the start of the stroke.

However, some patients are not suitable for this medication. The thrombectomy procedure can improve outcomes for patients both with and without the clot dissolving medication.

Thrombectomy must be performed within 4.5 hours of the start of the stroke for the best chance of a good recovery.

The Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) at St George’s treats over 1200 stroke patients each year. The thrombectomy procedure itself is carried out by interventional neuro-radiologists, with the patient’s before and after care provided by the stroke team.

Patient Teresa Bruce (pictured) underwent a thrombectomy procedure at St George’s and has since made a full recovery. Teresa, who is 68 and from Woking, initially lost her speech and movement down her right hand side. However, she left hospital two days later, and is fit and well.

She said: “I am doing well now. What can I say about the staff? They were all fantastic, caring and wonderful, and I can’t fault the service I received.”