A PROGRAM to ensure stroke patients are treated quickly to minimise their injury and, in some cases, have them back on their feet within days, will be rolled out across the state after being pioneered in the Hunter.

The state government will expand the stroke reperfusion program to involve 20 hospitals.

It builds on results in the Hunter, where the program has enabled the use of thrombolytic therapy or ‘‘clot-busting treatment’’ for more patients to dissolve blood clots, reducing permanent brain damage.

Hunter New England Health’s Chris Levi, a Conjoint Professor with the University of Newcastle and part of the committee organising the rollout, said one in four of those treated within 1 hour of a stroke will actually get up and walk out of hospital within a few days.

‘‘Whereas if we get them at 4 hours … we can only get one in every 12 to have that benefit,’’ he said.

READ MORE in the Newcastle Herald.