World first study saving Queensland stroke victims

Published: Comments:
Health & Wellness Lifestyle Queensland Government Science & Research


Queensland stroke patients will have their brains scanned in ambulances, rather than waiting to get to a hospital, in a world-first trial to save lives.

The SPIDER trial is a partnership between neurologists at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) using an EEG in the ambulance on patients suspected of having a blood clot in their brain.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles said stroke affects more than 56,000 Australians a year.

“Unfortunately, of those who survive, many will live with a disability which affects their ability to carry out daily activities,” Mr Miles said.

“We’re always looking for ways to use new technology to improve health outcomes for Queensland patients.”

Funded by more than $50,000 from QAS and a $40,000 grant from the RBWH Foundation, RBWH Director of Neurology Associate Professor Andrew Wong said the research is the first step towards a portable, cost-effective technology to more easily identify acute stroke patients in the ambulance, and improve those devastating statistics.

“Time is absolutely critical when it comes to stroke care,” Assoc Prof Wong said.

“If the patient—and the clot—is suitable we have special procedures performed in Medical Imaging to physically remove the clot and return blood flow to the brain.

“These treatments are very time dependent and require state-of-the-art, high-tech diagnostic equipment. By determining which patients need to come to RBWH sooner, we are saving lives.”

RBWH Foundation CEO Peter Treseder said the study was an example of what could be achieved through investment in innovation.

“This study is an invaluable step forward in the treatment of stroke and I hope we see some incredible outcomes for patients,” Mr Treseder said.

“The RBWH Foundation is committed to supporting clinicians and researchers. Without research or trials there would no advancement in patient care and treatment.”

Queensland Ambulance Service Critical Care Paramedic and PhD candidate Wayne Loudon said the pilot study involved using the SPIDER device within the Metro North catchment area.

“Upon completion of a thorough clinical assessment and with the permission of the patient, the EEG device is applied and begins recording,” he said.

“The SPIDER device will continue to record the data until arrival at hospital where the EEG is removed, and the data downloaded to a secure storage device.

“Being able to identify a stroke and its severity early allows us to activate the health system pathways and transport the patient in a timely manner to the most appropriate health facility.”

While the pilot SPIDER study is being trialled within the Metro North catchment area, the clot retrieval procedure at RBWH is available to suitable patients right across the state.  

To support medical research at RBWH, donate at


SPIDER stands for Stoke Prehospital Informed Decision-Making Using EEG Recordings

EEG (electroencephalography) is a method of recording electrical activity of the brain

Stroke is common, affecting more than 56000 Australians in 2017. It is often fatal, and even if not, 65 per cent of survivors suffer a disability which impedes their ability to carry out daily living activities unassisted. 85 per cent of stroke is caused by a clot (“Ischaemic stroke”) and 15 per cent is caused by bleeding. These treatments are only effective for ischaemic stroke.

Only around 20 per cent of those with an Acute Ischaemic Stroke that are potentially eligible for the clot retrieval procedure—making early detection essential.

Use the FAST test to help recognise the signs of stroke:

o   Face: check their face; has their mouth dropped?

o   Arms: can they lift both arms?

o   Speech: is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

o   Time: time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

The clot retrieval system is also offered at Princess Alexandra Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital.

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Steven Miles MP : Queensland Government, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services :
1 William Street, Brisbane Qld 4000, Queensland Wide
07 3035 6100
Steven Miles MP : Queensland Government, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Government to push PFAS transparency 13 November 2018 | Under a new set of powers, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer will be able to compel a polluter to notify the public of any health risks associated with their pollution. More information...
Nambour General Hospital redevelopment one step closer with tender awarded 12 November 2018 | The successful contractor has been selected to undertake the $86.239 million redevelopment works at Nambour General Hospital (NGH). More information...
New all-terrain 4WD ambulance allow emergency services to go off road 07 November 2018 | A new turbocharged four-wheel-drive (4WD) ambulance with enhanced terrain capability is being trialled by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in a bid to provide a safer and more robust response to patients... More information...
World first study saving Queensland stroke victims 23 October 2018 | Queensland stroke patients will have their brains scanned in ambulances, rather than waiting to get to a hospital, in a world-first trial to save lives. More information...
Be less cross and more fit 19 October 2018 | Queensland Health has launched a new campaign to help Queenslanders find what kind of exercise will best help them lose weight and stay healthy. More information...
Leaders sought to help shape local health services 25 September 2018 | Queensland community leaders are urged to apply for upcoming Hospital and Health Board positions to help deliver high-quality public health services in their local regions. More information...
New funds for HIV prevention 22 September 2018 | The Palaszczuk Government is boosting funding to the Queensland AIDS Council to help more vulnerable Queenslanders take up successful HIV prevention treatment PrEP. More information...
Doctors welcome hospital name announcement 21 September 2018 | Queensland’s specialist paediatric hospital will change its name to “Queensland Children’s Hospital”. More information...
HIV treatment stops AIDS in its tracks 04 September 2018 | AIDS will no longer be a notifiable health condition with cases in Queensland dropping substantially thanks to the sustained efforts of Queensland Health and community support from Queensland Positive People (QPP)... More information...
Queenslanders get the facts on abortion 22 August 2018 | Queensland Health will launch an online fact checker to debunk misconceptions surrounding the termination of pregnancy. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service