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Key messages

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. The number of stroke survivors is expected to increase to one million by 2050. 

There are effective treatments available for stroke to reduce the disabling consequences and improve outcomes. Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) is one of these treatments.

ECR is a time-critical procedure, with the greatest benefit achieved with early restoration of blood flow. 

Please note that this guidance is currently undergoing review by Safer Care Victoria to ensure  the content is up to date. In the meantime, we recommend that you also refer to more contemporaneous evidence where possible.

ECR is a highly specialised procedure only available at a limited number of tertiary hospitals. It is technically challenging, performed by highly trained radiologists, neurologists or neurosurgeons who have specialist skills in neurointervention.

ECR requires a well-organised system to identify suitable candidates for therapy and, if they are not already at an ECR-capable centre, rapidly transport them to one. 

A new service protocol for Victoria

In 2017, approximately 345 Victorians underwent ECR as a result of having an ischaemic stroke. New evidence published in 2018 has revised the treatment window for ECR from 6 hours from onset of stroke to 24 hours. This means more Victorians will now be considered for, and treated with ECR.  

We have revised this statewide service protocol to help health services identify patients who are suitable for endovascular clot retrieval, and ensure they are transferred and treated quickly.

Download the updated protocol

Helping your patients understand ECR

Our patient fact sheets are designed for you to adapt to your health service.

You can use them when talking to patients who have just experienced a stroke and their families, as they help explain the benefits and risks of ECR. 

There are two versions for:

Get in touch

Clinical Guidance Team
Safer Care Victoria

Version History

Last reviewed: October 2018

Due for review: October 2021

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