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St. Marina University Hospital and MU-Varna Initiate the Establishment of a Stroke Centre Network in Our Country

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Silva Andonova from St. Marina University Hospital in Varna has become the head of the Stroke Section at the Bulgarian Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics

This transpired at the First National Congress of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics with international participation, on the occasion of the Society's 10th anniversary, held from 2nd  to 4th October 2015, in Sofia. The Congress was opened by the inventor of Transcranial Doppler Sonography Prof. Rune Aaslid (Bern, Switzerland). The event was attended by more than 300 physicians, sonologists and university students from Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Georgia, etc.

The focus of the event was innovative stroke treatment methods, presented by Prof. Kurt Niederkorn (Medical University - Graz, Austria), Acad. E. Titianova (Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" - Sofia), Assoc. Prof. Ivo Petrov (City Clinic Sofia) and others. At a workshop, dedicated to SITS (Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke) Global Initiative, Assoc. Prof. Silva Andonova from Medical University - Varna shared her experience at St. Marina University Hospital - the first Bulgarian neurological hospital, connected to SITS Register in 2011.

Upon the proposal of Assoc. Prof. Andonova, the Bulgarian Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics (BSNCH), chaired by Acad. E. Titianova, reached the decision to establish a separate Stroke Section within the Society. A Coordination Committee was established, chaired by Assoc. Prof. Silva Andonova, including the local coordinators of the Bulgarian Centres in SITS Register: Dr. Iv. Petrov (MHAT - Shumen), Dr. T. Miteva (MHAT - Targovishte), Dr. V. Andonova (MHAT "St. Panteleimon" - Plovdiv), Dr. R. Kalpachki (St. Anna University Hospital - Sofia), etc. It is expected, by the end of this year, the number of Bulgarian hospitals, participating in the International Register to be increased, and our country to take advantage of the opportunity for launching a modern care model for patients with stroke, with the logistical support of ESO EAST Initiative, targeted specifically at the needs of Central and East European countries, said Assoc. Prof. Andonova. This project of the European Stroke Organisation is to be elaborated further, taking into account the specifics of the countries in the region and the dynamics of the processes going on in them, she added.

In their capacity as the Centre with the most extensive experience in the application of intravenous thrombolysis in the country, St. Marina University Hospital and Medical University - Varna take the initiative to create a Stroke Centre Network in the country. This will be achieved through training, focused on the model of SITS International Registry of the regional coordinators and training of teams of specialists involved in acute stroke therapy, which is the first step in the fight against stroke. The congress participants were unanimous that thrombectomy (mechanical thrombus extraction from cerebral arteries) requires specific training of specialists.