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Valley Central News: Innovative treatment brings hope to stroke patients

Apr 27, 2023

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — You might be under the impression that all strokes present themselves in a dramatic and painful way, but most times, it’s a quiet, mild pain in your arm.

Being aware and knowing the warning signs of a stroke is key to ensuring the patient gets treatment as fast as possible.

There is an acronym to help you remember the signs of a stroke, and it’s called “BE FAST.” 

“B” is for balance, “E” is for eyes, in terms of blurry, double vision, “F” is for facial drooping, “A” is for arm or leg weakness, “S” is for slurred speech and “T” means it’s time to call 911.

“When patients have hemorrhages, those types of strokes, it’s very obvious. They basically pass out, and they’re on the floor, and their families call 911,” said Dr. Ameer Hassan, head of the Neuroscience Institute, Valley Baptist Medical in Harlingen. “But it’s the milder strokes where they can’t move their arm, and your grandmother thinks she’s okay. This will get better. I’ll just gonna sleep on it. You must call 911 and get her to the nearest emergency room.”

Doctors say it’s better to be safe than sorry, so doctors recommend that you act as soon as you see a sign.  

The Latest Treatment

Endovascular Thrombectomy has been shown to be more effective in reducing disability than medical therapy in some stroke patients.

An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This procedure extends the treatment window for stroke patients.

It is estimated that a stroke causes patients to lose about 2 million neurons a minute due to a lack of blood and oxygen.

“As long as you had salvageable brain tissue, we should treat patients for up to 24 hours. Now, recent trials are now telling us that even if there’s a lot of dead tissue, these patients actually do benefit from pulling the clot out,” said Hassan. “So we get fewer hemorrhages, we get less death, and then you get more patients getting closer to disability-free life.”  

If you or someone you know is experiencing or showing signs of a stroke call 911 immediately.