Grady Memorial Hospital recently installed new hardware to aide in the battle against strokes and other neurological diseases.
Hospital Spokesperson John Crump said technology was installed and initiated yesterday that will allow a neurological physician in Oklahoma City to monitor the patient while an emergency room physician works to diagnose or stabilize the affected person.
This new push comes on the heels of a new early stroke detection initiative started by the hospital.
"We've been promoting the stroke initiative off and on for awhile," Crump said. "The new emphasis is in conjunction with the tele. office. Now neurologists can offer their opinion and recommend what protocol needs to be taken."
Crump said the hospital treats 10 to 15 people a month for strokes.
A stroke or "brain attack" occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain, according to a release from Crump.
"When this happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Everyone needs to be aware of stroke symptoms and to act fast if any of these symptoms occur," Crump said in the release.
In order to effectively diagnose and stop damage caused by a stroke a patient needs to seek help within three to four hours after symptoms first present themselves, according to Crump.
"Get help immediately," he said. "If you wait for treatment, it may not be effective"
Stroke is not the only disease the hospital attempts to tackle over the course of the year.
Injection of a clot-busting (thrombolytic) drug — such as a tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) — into veins to dissolve a blood clot may be more effective in increasing chances of a full recovery, compared to other treatment methods, Crump wrote in the release.
"Currently, though, only a small proportion of Americans who have had a stroke receive thrombolytic therapy," he said. "The main reason for this is that individuals wait too long to seek emergency help."
According to Crump, strokes are the leading cause of adult disability and the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
"Good news is that fewer Americans now die of stroke than was the case 20 years ago," Crump said in the release. "Improvement in the control of major risk factors for stroke — smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol — and new clot dissolving drugs are likely responsible for the decline."
Stroke Symptoms include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Stroke and neurological disease are not the only areas the hospital attacks over the course of the year.
"We do different health promotions depending on the time of the year and what is pertinent at that time," Crump said.