More stroke patients make it to Accident and Emergency

19 April 2017        

Category: Research

Illustration of stroke

The number of people going to Accident and Emergency following a stroke has increased by over 30 per cent since 2009, according to new estimates.

In 2008/9 79,373 people went to A&E in England after having a stroke, by 2015/16 this number had increased to 104,426 people - peaking at 126,242 A&E visits in 2014/15.

Latest figures show that stroke now costs the UK’S healthcare system an estimated £1.93 billion. Previous research has estimated that stroke costs the UK around £9 billion a year as a society.

Why have stroke A&E visits increased?

These increasing figures are likely the result of greater awareness of stroke symptoms, meaning that more people who’ve had a stroke make it to A&E. 

However, despite this, the number of people dying in the UK after suffering a stroke has remained stubbornly high - with numbers remaining largely unchanged in the last five years.

New treatments are urgently needed

More research is urgently needed to find better ways to prevent and treat the disease. Only one drug, alteplase, is currently approved to treat stroke in the UK and for some types of stroke there is no proven treatment.

Currently, we are funding 31 research projects worth £16.5 million pounds looking into the causes of stroke and looking to develop new treatments for those affected.

Finding treatments for the untreatable

BHF-funded researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham are conducting a clinical trial of drugs they believe could offer a new treatment for lacunar stroke.

Lacunar stroke accounts for around one in five strokes and has no proven treatment. It is caused by damage to one of the small vessels deep within the brain that affects the flow of blood and can lead to long-term disability.

Find out more about stroke and how BHF researchers are fighting to change the story for stroke patients.

find out more