Thousands of people saved from strokes as life-saving drugs are rolled out to an additional 610,000 patients

THOUSANDS of strokes and deaths could be prevented with blood-thinning drugs being rolled out to another 610,000 patients.

The NHS plans to scale up the use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), a life-saving drug that can prevent strokes.

Thousands of deaths and strokes could be prevented with life-saving drugs


Thousands of deaths and strokes could be prevented with life-saving drugsCredit: Getty – Contributor

They work by treating and preventing blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition that causes a fast and often irregular heartbeat.

Speaking at the NHS Providers conference, Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “The agreements reached by NHS England will save thousands of lives and prevent many more from suffering the debilitating consequences of stroke. by providing this treatment to hundreds of thousands of other patients.

“The health service now has a proven track record of impressive deals with manufacturers to ensure UK patients receive cutting-edge care at a price that delivers the best value for the payer. tax.

“As we continue to weather the pandemic, address the backlog of care already created and keep momentum going in the NHS Covid vaccination programme, we are also determined to continue delivering more innovation. and greater efficiency in patient care.”

As well as expanding the use of the drug, NHSX is also using cutting-edge technology to diagnose people with potentially fatal heart conditions, the NHS chief told the NHS Providers conference.

In one trial, more than 5,000 people were given wearable patches that use AI technology to monitor their heart rate, diagnosing potentially fatal conditions.

This technology gives clinicians all the information they need to make a quick diagnosis and start treatment – ​​without the patient needing to go through multiple tests and go to the hospital.

The DOAC agreement comes after NICE recommended the drugs were more effective at preventing AF-related strokes than other anticoagulants.

Investments of up to £40 million will also be made in ‘Detect, Protect and Accomplish’ roadmap initiatives that will also help identify people with AF and move them to treatment effective and appropriate.

NHS England’s national specialist for cardiovascular disease prevention, Helen Williams, said: “The new agreement on these medicines is good news for the approximately 1.5 million people in the UK with atrial fibrillation, a This type of irregular heartbeat causes one in five strokes.

“Stroke is not only one of the biggest killers in our country, it is life-changing and often causes long-term harm to many others, so by ensuring these drugs are By providing all people with AF at risk of stroke, the NHS will not only prevent serious harm to those affected, but will also avoid the need for care after placing additional pressure on the medical service. economic.

“Tackling heart disease and stroke is a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, which will save thousands of lives by better diagnosing and treating people with killer conditions.”

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