A Team Approach to Stroke
Stroke is a medical emergency and the treatment is time sensitive. Because brain cells die quickly, the sooner one seeks medical treatment, the better the outcome. If you or someone close to you experiences a stroke, it is critical to call 911 in order for medical care to begin as quickly as possible. Parkview's continuum of stroke services begins when a patient arrives at one of our emergency departments for initial diagnosis and treatment. Treatment depends on the type of stroke an individual experiences.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke simply means the blood flow in the artery has been blocked (often by a blood clot). A hermorrhagic stroke is caused by a rupture in a blood vessel in the brain (high blood pressure and ruptured aneurysms are the leading causes.) No matter what type of stroke, the nationally recognized stroke team at the Parkview Stanley Wissman Stroke Center provides the best stroke care for each patient.
Patients receive care from a comprehensive stroke team dedicated to quality outcomes, including:
- Emergency care physicians
- Primary care physicians
- Physicians specializing in cardiology, neuroradiology and other related fields
- Emergency medicine staff
- Interventional radiology staff
- Critical care nurses specifically trained in neurology and stroke
- Stroke certified registered nurses
- Certified rehabilitation registered nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Laboratory staff
- Radiology staff
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Speech pathologists
- Case managers and social workers
- Neurological Stroke Treatment
Ischemic stroke patients who present within four and one-half hours of when their symptoms begin, may be eligible to receive the clot-busting drug called Alteplase, a tissue plasminogen activator (or tPA). FDA approved for stroke treatment since 1996, Alteplase is given by IV and patients are closely monitored for the next 24 hours.
Interventional Stroke Treatment
In 2007, The Parkview Stanley Wissman Stroke Center recruited the regions first neurologist specializing in neurointerventional procedures. Treatment for ischemic strokes often involve the use of a small tube called a catheter that is inserted into an artery in the leg and then guided into the brain. Through this catheter, the clot-busting medication tPA can be delivered directly at the site of the clot or a device can be used to remove the clot. With both types of treatment, the goal is to restore blood flow to oxygen-starved parts of the brain in order to prevent or limit any long-term effects of the stroke.
For hemorrhagic strokes, specifically subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAH) caused by aneurysms, treatment again uses a catheter inserted into an artery in the leg and guided into the brain. Through this catheter, special thin wires are inserted into the aneurysm. The wires then “coil” up to block the blood flow effectively removing the risk of the aneurysm to bleed.?
Surgical Stroke Treatment
In the event of a hemorrhagic stroke, the Parkview Stanley Wissman Stroke Center has neurosurgical expertise to provide complex stroke care. Our neurosurgeons offer a wide array of skill sets to meet a variety of patient needs including aneurysm clippings and procedures to remove accumulated blood that may have settled on the brain. Aneurysm clippings involve the physician surgically securing a metal clip at the bottom of the aneurysm to prevent the aneurysm from bleeding. Sometimes too much blood accumulates in the brain and the neurosurgeon has to surgical remove the excess blood, known as a hematoma evacuation.
Access to advanced stroke treatment options at Parkview delivered by highly skilled physicians and care teams allows patients with complex conditions to be treated locally, rather than being referred to a university hospital many miles away from their families and home.
TeleMedicine and the StrokeCareNow Network
As a regional medical center serving northeast Indiana, southern Michigan, and northwest Ohio, Parkview Regional Medical Center treats a large number of stroke patients who have been transported from other communities. Parkview and Fort Wayne Neurological Center spearheaded the creation of the StrokeCareNow Network in partnership with Lutheran Health Network in 2008.
The StrokeCareNow Network is an alliance of 26 hospitals which uses telemedicine to deliver neurological expertise for faster diagnosis and treatment for patients with stroke or vascular diseases of the brain. Because telemedicine allows physicians at both a local hospital and a regional medical center to view and assess the patient and talk in real-time, lifesaving treatment decisions are made in minutes. If the patient needs to be transferred to the Parkview Stanley Wissman Stroke Center (or another facility), the transfer is set in motion immediately. The StrokeCareNow Network helps speed diagnosis and treats stroke quickly so patients have a better chance for recovery.