Signs of a stroke include difficulty speaking, droopy face, weakness on one side of the body, numbness and loss of vision
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Glendale, CA (PRWEB) December 10, 2009
The Los Angeles Brain and Spine Institute announced today that it is providing emergency advanced stroke services for both Glendale Adventist Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center, two of ten designated stroke centers in Los Angeles. L.A. County recently passed a ruling requiring paramedics to divert stroke victims to certified stroke centers. Dr. George Rappard is one of a handful of neurointerventional surgeons performing minimally invasive stroke surgeries at selected certified stroke centers.
Stroke affects 795,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. The Los Angeles Brain and Spine Institute is one of just a few L.A. County medical practices that offer minimally invasive procedures to treat strokes. Specialized physicians, neurointerventional surgeons, are able to thread a tiny catheter from the groin to the plugged brain artery causing the stroke. The device is then used to remove the plug and restore brain flow.
“The most common stroke treatment involves injecting a clot busting medication into an arm vein. This can only be administered three hours after symptoms occur. This advanced stroke procedure, thrombectomy, is minimally invasive and can be performed up to eight hours after symptoms occur, which potentially will save more lives,” said Dr. George Rappard. “Signs of a stroke include difficulty speaking, droopy face, weakness on one side of the body, numbness and loss of vision.”
Since emergency care is only effective if initiated as soon as possible, anyone experiencing these signs should call 911 immediately. Patients will be diverted to stroke centers if 911 is called within two hours of a stroke and if there is a designated stroke center within 30 minutes. All other patients with neurological illnesses will continue to be routed to the nearest treatment facility. All certified stroke centers will offer the ability to treat patients up to three hours after a stroke. The ability to offer stroke treatment up to eight hours after a stroke is not a current requirement for all designated stroke center hospitals.
The diversion of stroke patients to certified stroke centers is a policy shift for L.A. County‘s emergency medical services. In the past, stroke patients would be transported by paramedics to the nearest hospital, even if basic or advanced stroke services were not available. This policy shift recognizes the importance of stroke center certification. Certified stroke centers are recognized as facilities with specialized services and training in the management of stroke patients.
LA Brain and Spine Institute