The stroke research team at St George’s is the first to launch a new international research trial called SWIFT-Direct, for stroke patients – making us the key coordinating centre for this study.

The SWIFT-Direct trial investigates whether patients experiencing a stroke caused by a blockage in one of the major arteries in the brain can be treated with thrombectomy alone, compared to those also receiving the ‘clot-busting’ treatment thrombolysis.

Thrombectomy is a surgical procedure to remove blood clots in vessels blocking blood flow to the brain and restore blood flow to the affected area. The thrombectomy procedure at St George’s is carried out by interventional neuro-radiologists, with the patient’s before and after care provided by the stroke team.

Dr Liqun Zhang, UK Chief Investigator for the trial at St George’s, said: “Our Hyper Acute Stroke Unit treats over 1200 stroke patients each year, and St George’s was in fact the first hospital in the UK to have a fully staffed 24/7 thrombectomy service.

“This major international thrombectomy trial aligns St George’s with the major European centres, opens up more opportunities for further thrombectomy research in the UK, and establishes us as one of the leading UK stroke units.

“I am hugely proud of my team who are leading on this. Well done to everyone involved.”

You can access more information on the trial here: