1. Stroke Wake-Up Call

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    from Lee Memorial Health System Added 42 0 0

    “I was asleep at the time and was not aware than anything had happened,” says Frank Sullivan. He couldn’t pinpoint what it was, or when it happened. But Sullivan knew something went terribly wrong during the night. “I couldn’t walk, I could not feel anything on my right side,” says Sullivan. Researchers estimate about 58,000 people a year in the US go to the ER with a wake-up stroke. They’re called “wake-up strokes”. “As soon as they wake up, they realize they can’t move on one side and it turns out that at some time during sleep they had a stroke,” says Dr. Nima Mowzoon, neurologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff. These wake-up strokes present a problem: clot-busters must be given within a window of opportunity, and if no one knows when the stroke occurred, it may exclude someone from this option. “They seemed to be last normal at 10 o clock at night and they wake up at 7 and they’ve had the stroke - so that essentially brings the patient out of the 4 1/2 hour time window and so we wouldn’t be able to give that patient IV thrombolitics,” says Dr. Mowzoon. “Since I was asleep they couldn’t tell when it happened. Could’ve been three hours, could’ve been three minutes, nobody knows,” says Sullivan. New studies may provide help. Using an MRI to act as a ‘surrogate clock’, researchers are trying to pinpoint stroke onset, which may be allow some people to get brain saving clot busters. “We might be able to use our technology to identify which part of the brain is at risk of impending stroke and how much stroke that patient has already had and there may be certain patients in that category that still can benefit from the additional treatment,” says Dr. Mowzoon. Timing is everything, if you suspect someone has suffered a wake-up stroke. Call 911 immediately, because the clock is running. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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    • Stroke Deaths Falling

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      from Lee Memorial Health System Added 14 0 0

      A community activist, Nola Theiss works tirelessly to help people in need. “Well, human trafficking is modern day slavery,” says Theiss. She is able to continue her campaign, finding and helping victims. When only a few years ago she needed help and got it from Gulf Coast Medical Center, the area’s top stroke center. “They saved my life three years ago because I had a stroke and was taken directly there and I got the medication I needed - and three days later most, 95% of the residual effects, were gone,” says Theiss. Stroke deaths in the US have been dropping for more than 100 years and fell 30% in the past decade. The CDC now ranks stroke as the fourth leading cause of death, down from number three. Better prevention and better care post-stroke are thought to be reasons. “We started up a new protocol here back in 2010 that we call Code S. When a patient has a possible stroke or a TIA that it’s identified by the EMS, they go ahead and notify the hospital. The second the patient comes through the door we already know what we’re waiting for. With this protocol we’ve been able to monitor our progress. Our goal is 60 minutes and we’ve been able to meet that 60 minutes for the majority of it,” says Dr. Nima Mowzoon, neurologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff. The wider use of clot-busters, including an expansion of the window in which they need to be administered has helped greatly, and so has coordinated efforts to speed patients into treatment. “People are doing much better with strokes and strokes are survivable now. And with the treatments and therapies and everything that comes afterwards we do a much better job,” says Dr. Mowzoon. Doing a better job, so people like Theiss can heal and get back to work. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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      • Cutting Edge Blood Clot Removal

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        from Lee Memorial Health System Added 290 1 0

        One of the biggest boosts in treatment of acute stroke was the use of clot busters. Given within the proper window of opportunity, TPA drugs can dissolve clots and minimize strokes. “The sooner we can get the patient to the treatment table and give the treatment the more brain tissue we can save. And we learned now over the years and with very good data the golden hour i.e. the time line, 60 minutes after the patient walks thru the door, is the best time line we can give the patients the clot busting medicines,” says Dr. Nima Mowzoon, neurologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff. Proven protocols allow the administration of clot-busters for up to 3 hours; time being a valuable commodity. The impact of a stroke can be catastrophic to the brain. Studies show about 1-million nerve cells die every minute. That’s why researchers looked for ways to expand treatment options. One of the most cutting-edge is to surgically remove the clot from the blood vessel. “We thought of what else can we do that goes beyond the community standard to give our patients in the community the best quality of care that they could possibly get. Well the answer is thrombectomy,” says Dr. Mowzoon. Thrombectomy, also called clot retrieval, may be an option for patients who are timing out on the clot-busting drug, but still have salvageable brain. The delicate procedure is performed by an endovascular surgeon. “Sometimes what he does is administer that TPA substance clot buster while he’s attempting to retrieve the clot. So this is state-of-the-art technique that really isn’t available in a lot of places around the nation. And we’ve started to implement these protocols now,” says Dr. Mowzoon. The cutting edge procedure is being established within the stroke unit at Gulf Coast Medical Center. “The hospital has invested and bought and has employed this new program with CT angiogram and perfusion studies, which we can accurately map out which area of brain has already died and which area of the brain can die if we don’t do anything about it,” says Dr. Mowzoon. So when the right opportunity strikes, there may be more treatment options for more people. View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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