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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. That’s more than 795,000 people each year with most experiencing a stroke for the first time. And, with almost 2 million brain cells permanently damaged every minute during a stroke, recognizing the signs and getting immediate medical attention can mean the difference between walking again or surviving.
At the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, our expert neurologists, neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists work closely with our specially trained stroke response teams to provide comprehensive care quickly when time matters most.
Advanced Care for When Every Second Counts
Strokes affect the vascular and neurological systems and require a detailed, immediate multi-disciplinary care approach. In addition to specially trained experts, AdventHealth utilizes innovative technology and leading-edge procedures to improve outcomes for our patients.
A prime example is the Viz.ai suite of systems our team uses to help rapidly identify and treat strokes. The system uses artificial intelligence to alert stroke teams of suspected large vessel occlusion strokes that result from a blockage in one of the major arteries of the brain. These blockages cause loss of blood flow to significant portions of the brain, making them one of the most severe types of strokes. Using this new technology leads to rapid care and better patient outcomes.
A new device used by our team called Tigertriever enables neuro-interventional radiologists to remove clots that can cause ischemic strokes. This is the most common type of stroke that is usually caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. This keeps blood from flowing to the brain and puts the patient at risk for a more serious stroke. The Tigertriever manually adjusts to match the size of each patient’s blood vessel, unlike traditional stent retrievers.
We also perform minimally invasive brain surgeries (MIBS) to help reduce any surgical risks and set patients on a path to a speedier recovery.
Identifying a Stroke: Signs and Symptoms
A stroke is damage to the brain caused by a decreased blood supply to the brain. When a stroke happens, time is critical. If you suspect a stroke, call 911 right away — don’t wait, and don’t try to drive yourself to the ER. Seek medical attention immediately, even if the symptoms appear to go away.
Use the acronym BE FAST to help identify a stroke and get immediate medical care. This acronym stands for:
- Balance: loss of balance
- Eyes: loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Face: facial drooping
- Arm/leg: weakness in the arm or leg
- Speech: slurring/difficulty speaking
- Time: call 911 right away (don’t wait)
“When dealing with a stroke, we say ‘time is brain,’” says James Lefler, MD, interventional neuroradiologist at AdventHealth’s Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Lefler continues, “Every minute during a stroke, when the brain isn’t receiving oxygen from the blood, millions of brain cells are permanently damaged, as many as 2 million per minute. The quicker we can get these patients treatment, the less likely it is they’ll die or suffer disability. That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and act quickly.”
Additional signs of a stroke may include a sudden onset of confusion or a severe headache.
Visit FloridaNeuroExperts.com to learn more about AdventHealth’s innovative neuroscience technology, procedures and medical experts.