A research paramedic from North East Ambulance Service has been awarded a prestigious research fellowship by the Stroke Association.
Graham McClelland is the first paramedic ever to be recognised by the Stroke Association at this level and is one of just two postgraduate fellowships awarded.
Each year the Stroke Association awards prestigious research fellowships to outstanding candidates from the stroke research community across the UK – but they have historically been awarded to other healthcare professionals.
Graham’s fellowship will fund him to complete a postgraduate research qualification (PhD) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, which will help him pursue a research career focusing on the emergency treatment of stroke.
Stroke is the fourth single largest cause of death in the UK and the largest cause of complex disability. Someone has a stroke every three and a half minutes in the UK.
Graham plans to develop and test a new screening process to improve the accuracy of paramedic stroke recognition, analysing real cases attended by NEAS across the region to better understand how to determine the important clinical features that identify patients who have a stroke mimic and looking at how this would affect the care delivered across the region.
He said “Paramedics are very good at identifying people who have suffered a stroke but we also pick up a number of other conditions which look like a stroke but have a different cause called stroke mimics. If we can identify these stroke mimics then we can get the right patient to the right care which benefits everybody.”
Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Graham.
“Every minute is crucial when treating stroke, and Graham’s work has the potential to improve the use of resources for emergency stroke treatment. When a stroke strikes, time saved is brain saved.”