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Dr Carlos Garcia-Esperon

Dr Carlos Garcia-Esperon
Research Topics:

Biography

Dr Carlos Garcia-Esperon is a stroke neurologist and researcher at John Hunter Hospital where he is Director of Hunter Stroke Services. Dr Garcia-Esperon undertook a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He then completed a dissertation in ischaemic stroke at the University of Bern while undertaking further clinical training in Stroke at the Kantonsspital Aarau. He subsequently undertook a Stroke Fellowship at John Hunter Hospital, and in 2020 completed a PhD program in brain imaging and thrombolytic therapy in acute stroke at the University of Newcastle. 

Reperfusion therapies for ischaemic stroke are amongst the most beneficial and cost-effective therapies in medicine but are highly time critical.  With a focus on an equity of access to acute stroke therapies in rural and regional centres, Dr Garcia Esperon’s research aims to integrate advanced brain imaging, targeted acute stroke therapies and enhanced clinician education to optimise outcomes for acute stroke patients in these areas. Together with Prof Spratt, Levi and Parsons, he pioneered Telestroke in NSW, to deliver imaging and neurologist supported acute stroke therapies in rural hospitals in NSW. This was expanded from a proof of concept to a state-wide network. He was the lead author on the analysis of the pilot project, which was instrumental in obtaining funding from Ministry of Health.

A project based on this work won the Health and Research Innovation category of the 2020 Hunter New England Health Excellence Awards. He has been awarded a Hunter New England Clinical and Health Service Research Fellowship and a Viertel Foundation Clinical Investigator Award to build on this research. 

Dr Garcia Esperon has published his work in high impact journals and has presented at national and international conferences. He has also spoken on several occasions at the invitation-only International Symposium on Thrombolysis, Thrombectomy and Acute Stroke Therapy and the European and American annual stroke conferences. Locally, he has presented widely in regional and rural centres in NSW on the role of telethrombolysis in stroke management and educating healthcare practitioners in its role in acute stroke treatment. 

 

Research Interests

  • Pre-hospital stroke triage and use of pre-hospital stroke scales to enhance the timely delivery of reperfusion therapies for ischaemic stroke.
  • Telestroke to boost access to stroke specialists, advanced imaging techniques and reperfusion therapies in rural areas.
  • Brain perfusion imaging, particularly in large ischaemic core strokes and the potential benefit of endovascular thrombectomy.
  • Use of cardiac CT in the hyperacute stroke phase
  • Delivery of new models of remote stroke education using virtual reality.

 

Why did you get into research?

I am originally from rural Spain, where my grandparents were farmers, and I have experienced the imbalance in access to healthcare services due to geographic location. So, I steered the focus of my career towards enhancing access to reperfusion therapies for ischaemic stroke, with a special focus on rural areas. 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My research has always been driven by a desire to improve outcomes for stroke patients. I have clinical research expertise and I have sought to use this to advance knowledge and knowledge translation in stroke research.

Ischaemic stroke treatment has been transformed by the availability of reperfusion therapies. These are among the most effective therapies in recent medicine but to ensure that the benefits are realised for patients, we need to ensure that patients get this care quickly. I have been fortunate to work with colleagues who share my vision, and we have pioneered approaches to pre-hospital triage and telestroke.

Future Focus

My future focus includes the growth of research productivity in established projects with rural hospitals, and the development of new projects to build on research efforts in the treatment of acute stroke. I want to develop other initiatives to improve stroke outcome in rural Australia and close the rural-metropolitan gap for stroke patients.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Ischaemic stroke
  • Acute stroke therapies
  • Multimodal CT
  • Cardiac CT
  • Neuroimaging
  • Reperfusion
  • Telestroke

 

Affiliations

  • Hunter Medical Research Institute
    • Heart and Stroke Research Program
       
  • Hunter New England Local Health District
    • Staff Specialist Neurologist
    • Director, Hunter Stroke Services
    • Clinical and Health Service Research Fellow
    • Member, Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee
    • Acute Stroke Team
       
  • University of Newcastle
    • Conjoint Lecturer, School of Medicine and Public Health
    • Executive Committee Member, Priority Research Centre Stroke and Brain Injury

 

  • Australasian Stroke Academy
    • Treasurer
       
  • National Stroke Foundation
    • Clinical Council Member
       
  • Member of the Hunter New England Research Ethics Committee
     
  • Australasian Stroke Trials Network
    • Committee Member