New technology to treat strokes debuts in Colorado

9NEWS at 5 p.m. 10/28/16.

KUSA- Donna Tadlock is on special journey at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.

"I've never heard of anyone come out of it like I did," she said.

The fact that the 87-year-old is even walking right now is a huge feat, considering that this past Sunday, she had a potentially deadly stroke.

"My hand was very stiff. I couldn't move the right side of my body," she recalled. "It felt like maybe I'd die if I fell down."

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in America. Donna's daughter recognized something was wrong and brought her to St. Anthony Hospital, which had something extra.

Dr. Mark Murray is the interventional neurologist at St. Anthony, who treated Donna.

"Did you ever think you'd be able to see the inside of your brain like that?" he asked Donna, as he pointed at a screen.

"No,” Donna replied in wonder.

Dr. Murray used a medical advancement called RAPID on Donna. It's a software that helps doctors scan a stroke victim's brain, to determine what parts of the brain can be salvaged.

"She was having a stroke and when strokes happen, we like to say, 'Brain cells start to die immediately,'" Dr. Murray said.

RAPID allows doctors not just to see what parts of the brain have already suffered damage, but also which parts of the brain have been stunned by a stroke -- but can still be saved.

"It takes the guesswork out of it,” Dr. Murray said. “It gives me a real quick "go or no-go." We knew right away it was a go."

The "go" was a procedure to clear an arterial blockage that was stopping the flow of blood to part of her brain. They can't do that for every stroke patient, but RAPID helps them figure out which ones they can.

"It's invasive, and like all procedures, there are risks. It can extend a stroke," said vascular neurologist Dr. Richard Smith. “It’s that balance in trying to make that right decision and this will really help us.”

For Donna, the effect was immediate.

"Right away on the table, she was good," Dr. Murray said. "We're happy she's doing so well."

Donna beamed.

"I'm happy, too,” she said with a smile.

St. Anthony is the first hospital in Colorado to get the RAPID technology to treat strokes. The hospital is considered a comprehensive stroke center by the American Heart and Stroke Associations.

 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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