Medicine patch could revolutionise stroke treatment

5 May 2017        

Category: Research

A medicine skin patch could greatly improve the chances of someone surviving a stroke, according to researchers that we fund.

Plaster-like patch

The researchers are testing a plaster-like patch which is applied to a patient’s shoulder or back and administers a drug whilst a patient is travelling to hospital.

They believe that the patch can improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke if the medicine is administered quickly.

Applied in an ambulance

The patch can be applied by paramedics in an ambulance before the patient arrives at A&E, saving vital time.

A stroke is usually caused by an artery clot or burst blood vessel in the brain and causes permanent disability in around a quarter of patients.

The drug in the patch, glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), helps lower blood pressure and opens up blood vessels, which can help reduce the damage caused in the immediate minutes and hours following a stroke. 

Treating patients within an hour

The researchers say that the ability to start treating patients within an hour could revolutionise stroke care and lead to the technique being adopted worldwide.

Early trials have shown promise and now the BHF has funded researchers from the University of Nottingham to work with seven ambulance services to trial the patch on stroke patients and will chart their recovery over 12 months.

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


Find out more