It’s one of the leading causes of death each year in the U.S. Studies show nearly 800,000 patients are rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke.
Dr. Nasser Razack, a neurointerventional radiologist with Lee Health, says there are two forms of stroke. “There’s an ischemic stroke where blood flow to the brain is blocked. Then there’s a hemorrhagic stroke where there’s a ruptured blood vessel. When the blood vessel ruptures it can’t deliver nutrients and oxygen to the brain.”
Ischemic strokes account for 80 percent of all stroke deaths, but there are two types of ischemic strokes: small vessel disease and large vessel disease. When patients arrive, doctors must first determine the type of stroke the patient has suffered. “At Gulf Coast Medical Center we have a rapid protocol that allows us to look at the blood vessels in the brain to see it’s a large vessel occulision or not,” said Dr. Razack.
Large vessel disease accounts for all stroke related death. If patients have large vessel disease surgeons now have devices to help remove the clot that’s blocking the oxygen to the brain. “There are different types of tools. What we call that procedure is thrombi-aspiration. That’s the big fancy word for a miniature vacuum cleaner essentially. And we have another device that’s called a stent retriever which is a basket-like device that grabs the clot. Usually when we perform these procedures we do both. We are grabbing and using that vacuum aspiration at the same time,” said Dr. Razack.
The national goal is to have the patient in surgery 60 minutes after they arrive to the hospital. Recently, Gulf Coast Medical Center beat that standard in just 46 minutes. “That shows really the dedication of the staff at this hospital to get these procedures done. The advancements we are making here are huge! I think the biggest part of our advancing treatment ability here is our team approach,” said Dr. Razack.
New advancements and a full team approach are helping more patients survive a stroke.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.