Stroke care at Hamad Medical Corporation

  • The opening of a dedicated Stroke Ward at Hamad General Hospital in March 2014 has played a key role in ensuring stroke patients in Qatar receive the safest, most effective and most compassionate care.

  • The multi-disciplinary nature of the care has contributed greatly to ensuring stroke patients in Qatar receive the safest, most effective and compassionate care. The extensive team involved in the treatment of each stroke patient is central to the multi-disciplinary care patients receive. Stroke Neurologists and Physicians, Emergency Medical Services, ED team, Radiology, Stroke Ward, Stroke trained Nurses, Allied Health professionals, Rehabilitation team, Stroke Clinical Nurse Specialists and Interns, all provide their expertise in shaping patient treatment plans according to each patient’s individual needs.

Acute Stroke Care

Since 2013, the total number of suspected acute strokes at Hamad General Hospital has increased exponentially. This includes all patients with ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage and Transient ischemic attacks, along with patients with stroke mimics. Acute stroke service attends all these patients and evaluate them in emergency 24/7 at HGH. Since COVID-10 pandemic for first two years, the overall number reduced, but now the numbers started increasing again (fig 2).

The average length of stay (LOS) for stroke patients declined continuously in 2013. Before the start of Stroke ward, the average LOS was 12 days,  which improved to 8.0 days after Stroke ward care by the end of the year. Since then, with a multidisciplinary care, the overall length continuously improved and maintained (fig 3). The shorter LOS demonstrates the effective nature of the care being given. Patients benefit greatly from being discharged as early as possible, when clinically appropriate, to continue their recovery at home with ongoing support from the care teams.

The percentage of patients receiving IV Thrombolysis treatment (which must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms) has significantly increased since 2013. Thrombolysis is an effective treatment that can greatly increase a stroke patient’s chances of making a full recovery, but this must be given within the 4.5-hour timeframe. During last two-years of COVID-19 pandemic, due to reduced admission numbers, the overall percentage of patients receiving thrombolysis is overall same (fig 4).
  • The improvements in care rely on a number of service areas across multiple facilities working in unison, including the ambulance service, radiology teams and Hamad’s rehabilitation services.

  • In December 2014, HMC’s stroke service became the first of its kind in the Middle East to be accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI).  Since then, the service has been re-accredited twice in 2017 and 2021. JCI accreditation is based on quality and safety across all clinical and management functions and is considered to be the gold standard in global healthcare.
This video features the experiences of three stroke patients who have recently been treated at HMC. The patients describe in their own words how they suffered a stroke and explain the care processes they received that contributed to their successful outcomes.