Published on October 24, 2019

Thrombectomy Can Save Lives in Stroke Patients

By Todd Miller, MD, Neurointerventional Radiology

What are the warning signs of a stroke? Call 911 if:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (commonly on 1 side)
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache, neck pain or photophobia (light sensitivity) with no known cause

If you have or your loved one has ever had a stroke, you know the sudden warning signs and symptoms of stroke like weakness on half the body, or being unable to speak or understand speech. You also know a stroke is an emergency and timing is everything. That’s why the thrombectomy stroke treatment can save lives. Learn more about life after stroke.

What is thrombectomy?

Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that reopens the blocked blood vessel causing the stroke. Thrombectomy has saved patients’ lives or has prevented them from being severely disabled. Read more about how Stamford Health uses thrombectomy to save patients from the effects of stroke.

Here are a few facts about thrombectomy treatment at Stamford Health:

  • We have treated 18 patients since December of 2019 when the thrombectomy program began.
  • We were able to save many of these patients and almost half were able to return to live independently at home.
  • Compared with national benchmarks and results from clinical trials that proved thrombectomy is the new standard of care, the team at Stamford Hospital is saving patients at rates that are better than expected.

I feel so fortunate to work with such a great team of healthcare professionals at Stamford Health. The team required to successfully treat a patient with stroke symptoms is larger than you’d expect. Our EMS crews, Emergency Department staff, radiology team, stroke neurologists, ICU team, lab, pharmacy, and inpatient rehabilitation all collaborate to help us provide the best care for our patients.

The team meets monthly to review our data and works to continually improve stroke outcomes as well as patient care. We recently celebrated a successful procedure that showed our team’s exceptional capabilities.

We were able to move a patient from the EMS ambulance, through the ED, make a diagnosis, and perform a thrombectomy in 70 minutes, which resulted in a life-saving outcome.

The benchmark times that matter in this process are measured in minutes. We compare these times to national benchmark data, and I am proud to say that we have met or beat these benchmarks.

Where you go for stroke treatment matters. Stamford Health remains the only facility in the region to offer 24/7 thrombectomy stroke treatment with expert stroke neurologists available 24/7, RAPID software that swiftly detects stroke, and a modern biplane x-ray suite.

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