Dr Liu Yang, a stroke neurologist from South west China started a 4 -month clinical placement this week at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. Invited by Professor Tony Rudd, Dr Yang’s training will take in the hyper-acute stroke unit, stroke rehabilitation, community support for stroke survivors and how stroke services are regulated and inspected.
What does stroke support look like in your country?
Stroke support in the community is really inadequate in South West of China. Given the fact that stroke is a leading cause of disability in China and there are millions of stroke survivors, we need to look to establishing stroke support services in the community, which can lead to greater awareness, better management of risk factors and improved quality of life for stroke survivors.
How would you like to be involved in stroke support?
The Fourth People’s Hospital (Chongqing Emergency Medical Centre) where I am a neurologist, is well equipped with all modern medical facilities including an air pad, but there is no standardised built hyper acute stroke unit in Chongqing, or even in the whole region. The hospital director- Ms Ma is very keen to set up and develop stroke services in our hospital, learning from the World Stroke Organization and UK stroke experts. We recognise that improving stroke services needs to extend beyond the hospital into the community. Therefore visiting the Stroke Association in the UK, a stroke support organization member of WSO will be a valuable experience alongside my clinical placements.
How do you think community stroke support can prevent strokes?
Given that 90% of strokes are connected to risk factors that we can manage, we need to better educate people in China especially in those less developed areas, about how they can manage these stroke risk factors. This will require greater awareness raising in the community – something that the Red Bracelet movement is already doing across China.
What would you say to other people to make them take stroke prevention seriously?
As a neurologist I have seen the devastation that stroke can cause to people from across society, men, women, young, older, rich and poor. We need to educate people to take better care of themselves and avoid the devastation caused by stroke.
What is your reason for preventing strokes?
As a doctor I want to ensure that people live the best and healthiest lives that they can. I don’t want to see so many people affected from stroke on the neurology ward.