Dr Thomas on stroke

Dr. John Thomas
MBBS; MD, FRCP (Lon), DGM (Lon), CCT (Oxford)
Consultant Physician at Noble's Hospital and Geriatrician with Specialist interest in Stroke and Movement Disorders.

Stroke is a condition of enormous significance both at the individual and public health levels. Research in the last decade or so has proven beyond any doubt that preventive strategies as well early treatment will make an enormous difference to the outcomes of individuals who are affected by this condition. Both mortality and disability can be minimised by this approach.

The radiology department at the Noble’s Hospital is geared for providing 24 hr Brain Imaging for acute stroke patients. It has recently been upgraded with the help of charitable donations including that from the Manx Stroke Foundation. The department has state of the art technology with a new 3 Tesla MRI, which will work together with the existing 1.5 Tesla MRI. It also has two Dual Energy CT scanners. We are currently aiming for advanced imaging modalities for stroke patients which will enable us to provide thrombolysis and thrombectomy service more efficiently. The department also offers Doppler Ultrasound imaging for the vascular study of the Carotid Arteries.

Rapid Access TIA (mini stroke) clinics for early assessment and treatment of this condition without necessarily admitting all the patients into the hospital were started on the Island in early 2008. Around this time we also introduced Carotid Doppler and Endarterectomy service on the island. A dedicated stroke Unit was established in 2009 and it delivers 24 hr stroke thrombolysis. Those patients who require tertiary care for thrombectomy or craniectomy or neurosurgical or other endovascular procedures are transferred to Walton Centre, Liverpool in a timely fashion.

Manx Stroke Foundation has helped immensely over the years in the care of stroke on the Island. It has held awareness campaigns throughout the island for control of Blood pressure, provided financial support for research to the UK Stroke organisation and helped numerous stroke patients on the island with equipment and aids for the care and treatment of stroke. Significant financial aid has been provided to the Nobles hospital in purchase of equipment including stroke imaging machinery and software.

I consider it a great privilege to work in the Isle of Man as the Consultant Physician along with a great team of dedicated staff. Currently there is no other Health service in the British Isles, outside of the UK, where there are so many facilities in stroke care. However, we will continue to strive to improve our services towards achieving our goal - The Best Stroke Care in the British Isles and indeed Europe!

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