About Genome British Columbia
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada's West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $550M in research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. www.genomebc.ca
About Vancouver Island Health Authority
Through a network of hospitals, clinics, centres, health units, and residential facilities, Vancouver Island Health Authority provides health care to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands of Georgia Strait, and in mainland communities north of Powell River and south of Rivers Inlet. The health authority is involved in more than 250 research projects, and continues to expand its capacity to conduct research in collaboration with local, regional and national research organizations, to improve both quality of care and quality of life for patients and residents on Vancouver Island and beyond. www.viha.ca
Note: B-roll and photos available on request from Vancouver Island Health Authority.
Genome BC/Vancouver Island Health Authority stroke research project
-- 50,000 Canadians experience minor strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) every year. Of those, 5,000 will soon progress to full-blown stroke, most within a few days. Early diagnosis of TIA using a blood test followed by proper treatment could prevent four out of five from developing into full-blown strokes.-- Diagnosis is complicated by TIA "mimics" - conditions such as migraines that mimic the symptoms of TIA. Immediate availability of the expensive neuroimaging (CT angiogram or MRI) required to differentiate actual TIA from mimics is often limited.-- 50% of the referrals to Victoria General Hospital's stroke rapid assessment unit are TIA "mimics". A blood test would allow accurate diagnosis and eliminate the need for neuroimaging in cases of TIA mimics.-- Benefits of a blood test to diagnosis TIA: -- Faster care saves lives. Achieving recommended guidelines of 80 percent of TIAs treated within 48 hours would avoid up to 4,000 strokes in Canada each year. -- Preventing strokes reduces costs to the health system. The direct acute care costs for a stroke patient are over $50,000. The costs to family, workplace and future care for the patient, are incalculable. -- Because stroke patients are Canada's heaviest user of acute and chronic care beds, a blood test that prevents 4,000 strokes will save the health system more than $500 million a year in direct and indirect costs. -- Reducing mimic referrals by 20 percent could save about $10 million to the Canadian health system each year in neuroimaging costs alone, plus the associated risks of radiation and contrast dye to patients. It would also improve access to CT and MRI machines for other types of patients.-- The research team is developing a multi-protein test using cutting-edge new techniques and technology based on mass spectrometry at the University of Victoria -Genome BC Proteomics Centre. The team will also develop accompanying decision-aid software for physicians that provides guidance on whether a patient can go home safely or whether they need further testing.-- Vancouver Island offers ideal health research opportunities to reduce strokes. Island Health's Stroke Research Centre and Stroke Rapid Assessment Unit at Victoria General Hospital has built one of the world's largest TIA research databases, with 11,000 Vancouver Island patients. The island is uniquely placed for such research, with a captive population of 750,000 all served by one health authority, with one common health record.-- Last year 1,325 patients were admitted to hospital for stroke on Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Media Relations Manager