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A stroke, also known as a “brain attack” occurs when blood flow in the brain is interrupted, either by a clot or when blood leaks into the brain from a ruptured vessel.
The result? Loss of brain cells – 1.9 million neurons are lost each minute of a stroke. When this occurs, people lose the ability to function as they did minutes prior to the stroke. Sudden loss of speech, sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg and a sudden severe headache are common signs you are having a stroke.
What do you do if you or someone you know display these symptoms? Call 9-1-1 immediately! Do not go to bed or carry on your day thinking you will start feeling better.
Stroke is an emergency! One minute you are fine, and the next you are impaired. While every stroke is treated individually, getting to a hospital quickly will likely increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Kentucky’s First Joint Commission-Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center
In February 2013, University Hospital was named the first Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Kentucky and the 20th in the nation. This accreditation recognizes University Hospital’s ability to provide the most comprehensive stroke treatments available. Read more about this great accomplishment for Kentucky here.
Led by Dr. Kerri Remmel, Director of University Hospital’s Stroke Center, the Stroke Team is above the national average in the administration of IV tPA (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator) for acute ischemic stroke (stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain).
IV tPA is a drug that breaks up the clot causing the stroke, but it must be given within the first three hours of the first sign of the symptom and only after confirming the patient meets all of the necessary criteria.
In 2012, University Hospital’s Stroke Team treated 15 percent of stroke patients with IV tPA (national average is 3-5 percent), the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ischemic strokes. That number includes patients who had the drug administered at University Hospital, as well as those patients that had it administered at an outlying hospital after talking with one of our stroke neurologists. Those patients are often then transferred to University Hospital for additional care.
The Stroke Team at University Hospital was the first hospital in Kentucky to receive the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) for its commitment to providing tPA promptly after patients arrive at University Hospital. In 2011, the Stroke Center received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Award, marking the fifth straight year of receiving the Gold or Gold Plus Award. These recognitions illustrate University Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients according to research-based guidelines.
University Hospital’s Stroke Team features an expert team of stroke neurologists and interventional stroke neurologists:
- Dr. Kerri Remmel, Director of University Hospital’s Stroke Center
- Dr. Alex Abou-Chebl, Interventional Stroke Neurologist
- Dr. Anand Vaishnav, Stroke Neurologist
- Dr. Wei Liu, Interventional Stroke Neurologist
Former Patients Share Their Stories
Dr. O, Andrew Fisher, Angela Krohn and Bethany Miller are former patients of the University Hospital Stroke Center. They each have remarkable stories and credit the Stroke Team with saving their lives.
If you are a former stroke patient at University Hospital and would like to share your story, tell it here.