Even though strokes are the leading cause of long-term adult disability and the number five killer in America, many people aren’t able to recognize the signs and symptoms when stroke strikes. People also may not realize that with a stroke, time lost is brain lost.
A stroke occurs when a vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot or ruptures. During a stroke blood flow is cut off, brain tissue is starved for oxygen and parts of the brain die. The more time that passes between when a stroke starts and a person receives treatment increases the chances for brain function to be permanently lost. This is why when a stroke strikes, it’s critical that the person experiencing symptoms receives medical attention and an accurate diagnosis fast.
As a leader in rapid response care, the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute at Long Beach Memorial works to quickly and accurately diagnose stroke and provide treatment. The MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute stroke neurologists and neurointerventionalists are available 24/7 for consultations.
Typically when stroke strikes, the first step in treatment is the administration of a clot-busting intravenous medication called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). When (tPA) is appropriate, the care team at the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute administers the treatment to patients immediately.
However, some patients require more complex interventions to remove a clot or stop bleeding in the brain. Some of these patients are candidates for non-invasive stroke treatment techniques that are performed by the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology (DINR) at the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute. Long Beach Memorial with UCLA Health provides world-class neurointerventional and neurosurgery physicians and surgeons on its stroke response team.
The DINR combines excellence in clinical imaging, research and educational programs with state-of-the-art technology. As the pioneers in acute stroke intervention and aneurysm embolism, the DINR uses state-of-the-art image-guided techniques to deliver life-saving agents through non-invasive methods, reducing hospital stays and recovery times for patients.
The DINR complements surgical intervention techniques by using an endovascular approach to treating aneurysms, vascular malformations and tumors of the brain, spine, head and neck. An endovascular approach means that the determined procedure is performed inside your blood vessel using a thin, long tube called a catheter. Through small incisions in the groin, the catheter is guided under video x-ray to the site of the aneurysm.
Once a stroke is treated, the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute guides stroke survivors and their families through recovery and rehabilitation as soon as possible. The severity of a stroke determines the length of recovery and rehabilitation therapies. The goal for every patient is to increase function, regain independence and transition back to their everyday routine.
The MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute also provides support groups to stroke survivors and their caregivers. Support groups are a helpful tool that can aid in recovery by providing resources and an environment for learning, listening and connecting with others in similar situations.
For more on stroke treatment, rehabilitation and caregiver support, visit MemorialCare.org/LBStroke.