New machine helps patients survive a stroke

Mohawk Valley Health System now has a bi-plane fluoroscopic imaging system that’s being used to help stroke patients.

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 5:28 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 5:33 PM

UTICA - Mohawk Valley Health System now has a bi-plane fluoroscopic imaging system that’s being used to help stroke patients.

The machine uses a two-headed CT scanner to see a 3D image of where the blood clot is located. Doctors can then go in using guidewire and a stent and remove the clot.

Stroke Program Clinical Coordinator Angie Roche talked what it’s like having this technology right here at the St. Luke’s campus.

"It’s that exciting to me that you’ve immediately been able to eliminate the cause of this patient’s stroke directly at the site."

One of the major problems in treating a stroke patient is time. Patients used to only have between 6-12 hours from the time of the first symptom to the time of treatment, and sometimes determining when a stroke occurred was the first problem.

"A lot of people who have strokes go to bed fine and wake up in the morning and they have symptoms. You have no idea when that stroke occurred. Called wake-up strokes. They’re devastating because we could not do anything for them."

Now that’s all changed. Starting just this February, research and technology is giving doctors up to 24 hours to treat a stroke patient. It’s still a challenge, and that’s why there’s a new acronym to help people identify the symptoms of a stroke. It’s called FASTER and this is what you should watch for:

F-is for Face or facial droop. A-is for Arm or arm weakness. S-is for Stability-it’s your firmness in equilibrium. T-is for Talking. Identify if you have slurred or mixed speech. E-is for Eyes or changes in vision, and R-React - call 911 and get to a hospital as soon as possible. Identify your symptoms faster and your chances of survival and recovery are greatly increased.

"We have patients who come in here unable to speak. One side completely paralyzed. Perhaps maybe a problem with an eye as well, and they walk out the door. It’s just the best thing in the whole wide world as far as I’m concerned" said Roche.

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