During the month of May, doctors and medical professions try to bring extra awareness of the danger of strokes to the community.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability. It is third in the nation as the top cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite May being National Stroke Awareness Month, one facility in Toledo is working to bringing state-of-the-art stroke technology to local patients on a day-to-day basis.
After opening its new $10 million stroke unit in May 2012, ProMedica is more committed than ever to serving stroke patients in its Toledo Hospital.
The center is housed on the 10th floor of the hospital, equipped with a 20-bed stroke unit and a 15-bed neuro intensive care unit.
Doctors say one of the most important factors for treating strokes quickly is patients and family members being able to recognize the signs and "Act FAST."
According to the National Stroke Association, the acronym "FAST" is a helpful reminder of stroke symptoms. FAST stands for:
F = Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A = Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drop downward?
S = Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T = Time. If observer any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
According to neurovascular interventionalist Syed Zaidi MD, strokes are the result of a brain aneurysm, a weak bulging spot on the wall of a brain artery that looks like a thin balloon. As the aneurysm grows, it may cause symptoms such as headaches and vision loss. If untreated, aneurysms can eventually rupture, causing a stroke or even death.
Medical experts at ProMedica often perform what's known as a pipeline procedure to treat stroke victims. The Pipeline procedure is performed to remove aneurysms. The goal is to prevent blood flow into the aneurysm.
The procedure is done under local or general anesthesia, because the patient must remain still for long periods of time. This is a minimally-invasive procedure.
The Pipeline device is inserted through an incision in the patient's groin into the blood vessel using a microcatheter tip. The device is released and the coil tip is placed into the blood vessel to draw blood away from the aneurysm.
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