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39p patch to boost stroke survival rate

By John von Radowitz

A 39p skin patch could save thousands of lives by improving the chances of surviving a stroke, researchers have claimed.

The patch is applied to the shoulder or back and delivers a blood pressure lowering drug through the skin while a patient is rushed to hospital.

Results from a small early trial suggest it could potentially halve the stroke death rate.

Each year in the UK an estimated 40,000 people die from strokes, one of the leading causes of death in the country.

British Heart Foundation researcher Professor Philip Bath, from the University of Nottingham, said: "We believe that by improving blood flow in the brain in stroke patients we can dramatically improve their survival chances and recovery.

"This patch enables us to do this within minutes and early trials have been very promising."

Strokes are generally caused by an artery clot or burst blood vessel, and often result in serious brain damage.

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