Did you know approximately 15 million strokes happen every year worldwide?
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious long-term disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. Every forty seconds someone suffers from a stroke and on average someone dies from a stroke every four minutes. In the female population, mortality (death) from stroke affects twice as many women than breast cancer. In addition, females are more likely to suffer a stroke than males with 425,000 women affected annually. Symptoms of a stroke can occur suddenly without warning and include numbness/weakness of the face, arm or leg, loss of speech, blindness or dizziness. Some people have a higher risk due to age, genes or prior medical history.
The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Florida Hospital Tampa Neurosciences Institute is dedicated to elevating health care in every way. I lead the Stroke Center as co-director with Terry Rodgers-Neame, M.D. Our team includes an Interventional Neuroradiologist, Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, emergency physicians, certified registered nurses. This allows us to coordinate care from triage to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Florida Hospital Tampa specializes in disorders and injuries of the head, neck, brain and spine utilizing the latest, most advanced as well as most minimally invasive technologies and procedures.
One of the newest most minimally invasive technologies we were the first in the Tampa Bay area to adopt is the new stroke retrieval device made by Stryker Medical called the Trevo Pro Clot Retriever. This new FDA approved stroke device has the ability to significantly improve patient outcomes and is the newest and next generation in intracranial clot/stroke retrieval. The Trevo Pro “retrieves” blood clots from within the brain’s blood vessels faster for patients suffering from an acute ischemic stroke, where blood flow is blocked. This device is used to perform mechanical thrombectomy. You may be asking what is that? This is called clot removal, and the new Trevo Pro entraps the clot in a way that immediately allows blood to start flowing back to the brain. This new device is 92% effective, advancing the physician’s ability to restore blood flow back to the brain and improving patient outcome. The Trevo Pro device has been shown to demonstrate a reduction in the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) in patients suffering from an acute stroke as well as decreased hospital stay for those patients. FDA approval for the Trevo Pro Retrieval is based on the Trevo 2 clinical trial.
As you can imagine it is a stressful time for families & patients when they arrive at the hospital. Now we are able to offer a number of options when a patient arrives with an acute stroke. Trevo Pro is one of the 4 options available to patients for physicians to use in an acute ischemic event. The other devices include Solitaire Stroke Device (Covidien), Concentric Merci Retrieval System, and the Penumbra Stroke Device. Florida Hospital Tampa was the first in the Tampa Bay Region to offer all four devices to the community.
Florida Hospital Tampa is committed to offering patients first-in-line region technologies that allow for greater accuracy and faster results. For example, the new Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology Suite in Pepin Neurovascular Institute is equipped with a Biplane Neuroangiographic Machine that has the ability to determine how much brain tissue is affected by the stroke while the patient is on the angiographic table and being actively treated without having the patient to undergo another test in another suite. This minimizes the time to reperfusion of vital brain tissue as well as more accurately determines which patients are better suited for endovascular therapy. Therefore if utilized correctly improves patient outcome.
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) has designated Florida Hospital Tampa one of only 18 AHCA-designated comprehensive stroke centers in the state of Florida to provide comprehensive stroke care. Florida Hospital Tampa Neurosciences Institute complements our renowned cardiovascular program at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute by enabling delivery of more comprehensive cardiovascular care. What does this all mean? It means we are equipped to meet the needs of a hemorrhagic stroke (intracranial bleed), an ischemic (vessel occlusion) stroke in addition any vascular problem from head to toe including the heart.
Time is vital, for example during an acute ischemic stroke approximately 30 million brain cells die every 15 minutes. This is why it is important to recognize the appropriate signs of an acute stroke and proceed to the nearest hospital for correct diagnosis. Florida Hospital Tampa has met all the requirements for AHCA Comprehensive Stroke designation which include minimizing the onset of symptoms to treatment which reduces the loss of critical brain tissue. In addition, we are able to provide more aggressive stroke care management and rehabilitation to patients.
Other minimally invasive vascular procedures we offer include diagnostic cerebral angiography, percutaneous treatment of intracranial aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, hypervascular tumors of the head and neck, carotid, vertebral and intracranial vascular angioplasty/stenting, as well as kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty of vertebral compression fractures. These minimally invasive procedures allow us to treat patients previously considered too ill for procedures involving the head, neck and spine.
Article by James E. Lefler, MD
James E. Lefler, MD, brings more than 10 years of dedication and experience treating patients with neurovascular diseases of the head, brain, neck and spine using the latest minimally invasive techniques. He also treats patients who suffer from intracranial aneurysms, arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and acute stroke. To refer a patient to the Neurosciences Institute at Florida Hospital Tampa or contact Dr. Lefler, please call (813) 615-7008 for the office or (813) 615-7904 scheduling. For additional information please visit www.FHTampa.org