Working Life: Dr Liam Healy, clinical lead for stroke services at CUH

Working Life: Dr Liam Healy, clinical lead for stroke services at CUH

Dr Liam Healy, clinical lead for stroke services at Cork University Hospital (CUH)

7am:

My kids act as an alarm clock — Aoibhinn, nine, and Liam Jnr, seven. We live in Kinsale and their school is just a short walk away.

My wife Leona is a primary school teacher in the same school so they all leave together. I drive to work.

8.30am:

Mornings start in the Emergency Department (ED), accompanied by the stroke team. We see patients admitted overnight with suspected strokes.

We work with ED staff and bed management to try to get people to the specialist care available on the stroke unit as soon as possible.

10am – 12pm:

Most of the rest of the morning is spent with therapists and stroke nurses on the stroke unit where we have 25 beds.

CUH has the busiest inpatient stroke service in Ireland.

We work closely with different services within the hospital to figure out why someone has had a stroke, how we can minimise the damage caused by the stroke, and how we can initiate a patient’s rehabilitation.

12pm:

We are often called back to the ED throughout the day to see new acute stroke patients brought in by ambulance.

We work closely with the ambulance service, emergency medicine, and radiology colleagues to rapidly identify newpatients that may be suitable for acute interventions such as thrombectomy — the removal of the clot causing the stroke by a specialist team.

CUH is one of only two hospitals in Ireland that offers this treatment. Outcomes can be dramatic, often effectively curing the stroke altogether.

1pm:

Lunch is often at a lecture or teaching session.

2pm:

With colleagues in neurology and acute medicine, we provide a daily rapid access stroke prevention clinic where we treat patients sent in by their GP who may have had a mild warning stroke called a transient ischemic attack or TIA.

4pm:

I meet with members of the early supported discharge team to discuss which patients are suitable for home-based rehabilitation.

This service allows patients to rehabilitate in their own homes.

5pm:

I spend some time planning our upcoming international stroke conference, held in Cork next April, and on working to increase CUH’s participation in stroke research trials before heading home.

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