Rapid stroke: Saving lives in real time

Author: Ivanhoe Newswire
Published: Updated:
Photo: Ivanhoe Newswire

Each year, nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke. Ten to twenty percent will die. Now, there is an interventional software system that will shave precious time, spare brain tissue, and save lives.

Sylvia Novier and her husband had just returned from a trip. As she was telling her daughter about it over the phone, she thought she heard the phone ring at the same time.
“I’m trying to figure out who’s calling me while I’m talking to my daughter, but nothing is connecting,” said Novier.

Her husband watched helplessly, terrified by watching what was happening to her.

“He got me into the den and said I think you’re having a stroke and I couldn’t understand why he would think I was having a stroke,” said Novier.

Novier asked for a drink of water, but when she put it to her lips …

“I tried to drink it and it just fell down my front,” she said.

Novier was suffering a stroke. Little did she know that by the time EMS transported her to the hospital and they conducted CAT scans, the neurosurgeon had already received the test results in his phone’s email.

“The strange thing about it was I had not received an email yet from a neurologist or any physician. It was a patient that I did not know about,” said Justin Mascitelli, MD, Assistant Prof Neurosurgery at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The doctor crossed the hallway into the ER, and there was Novier.

“It all happened very quickly,” said Dr. Mascitelli.

“They immediately rolled me in. I’m trying to tell my grandson, I love you, they rolled me in and my legs were shaking,” Novier stated.

Thanks to the rapid stroke technology, the doctor was ready for surgery in 20 minutes.
“It saved my life. It saved me from a total debilitating life that would limit me and be harder,” Novier said.

Rapid stroke technology provides faster visualization with extremely accurate scans. That enables surgeons to make split-second decisions on the most effective treatment. There are now 500 stroke centers using this cerebrovascular imaging.

Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Field Producer; Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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