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New Approach to Treating the Worst Strokes


Cutting-edge endovascular procedure removes large clots from the brain.

In the April 2016 issue of Comstock’s Russell Nichols’ article “A Matter of Time” explores established treatments for stroke patients and the new options, such as Thrombectomy, which are delivering significantly better results.

The following an excerpt from “A Matter of Time.”
“In the past few years, a new method has emerged: mechanical thrombectomy, which is the fancy medical phrase for manually removing a blood clot from the brain. The time window for this procedure is much wider (up to eight hours  after stroke onset). Not every patient qualifies. However, those who successfully receive this endovascular (inside the blood vessel) treatment come away with remarkably less permanent neurological damage.

In 2014, Mercy San Juan was named the first comprehensive stroke center in the region, responding to acute stroke emergencies. The various members of the neurocritical care team work around the clock. As part of Dignity Health, Mercy is linked into a robust teleneurology program with 30 sites, delivering care throughout California, flying patients in by helicopter if necessary.
The highly specialized team performed 123 mechanical thrombectomies in 2015. If stroke victims don't get treatment as soon as possible, dying brain cells can cause long-term damage like trouble speaking or walking, other disabilities that may require special care or, in the worst cases, death. 

If the neurointerventionalist can open up the blood vessel in time, neurological damage will be minimal. According to Dr. George Luh, Dignity Health neurointerventionalist, “We've probably done close to 200 of these procedures at our hospital over the last two years. We have a success rate of 90 percent for opening up the blood vessel.’"

Dignity Health is proud to be the region’s leader in neurovascular care, treating the highest volume of neurovascular patients in the area. Our renowned team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, neurointerventional radiologists and neurocritical care specialists.

Read more information about Dignity Health’s Neurological Institute of Northern California

 

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