PATIENTS at risk of a stroke are set to benefit from pioneering treatments made possible by a collaboration between Southend Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University.

Patients suffering the severe and life-threatening effects of a blocked artery in the brain will benefit from new procedures – directly removing the blood clot.

World renowned Professor Iris Grunwald joined Southend Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University in a dual role six months ago and is leading an international research trial based at the hospital into the benefits of interventional stroke treatment.

She said: “Southend has a history of excellence within stroke care and is considered one of the best centres in the country.

“We’re now able to offer cutting-edge interventional stroke treatments, such as removal of clots directly from the brain with a minimally invasive technique.

“The chances of reopening a blocked vessel with this technique are by far higher than just medication alone and it gives us another option to help patients with the most severe strokes.

“Thanks to the clinical commissioning groups in this area, Southend Hospital is able to make this highly specialised procedure available to our local population and beyond.”

Professor Grunwald is ensuring the teams involved are highly trained by using a cutting edge simulator within Anglia Ruskin University’s Postgraduate Medical Institute to perform procedures, including carotid stenting and directly clearing a blocked artery in the brain.

The Simbionix Angio mentor simulator is only in use at a handful of centres in the country. It replicates heartbeat and breathing and is linked up to an internal camera which allows the operator to see inside the patient in real time.

The images can also be streamed to a screen in a teaching room, allowing students to see the operation taking place.

Professor Grunwald said: “The simulator allows medics to perform complex procedures in a controlled environment as close to a real life simulation as possible.

“It enables the whole team involved in a procedure to benefit from training, ensuring every member of the team understands their role when in a real life situation.”