Lutheran Team Lifts Stroke Patient's Recovery

Lutheran Team Lifts Stroke Patient’s Recovery

If Jay Blanchard is as his doctors say, the "Poster Child" for getting the right care for his stroke, then he owes that success to a whole group of people who came together fast. Starting with his wife, Lori, who heard him fall down just outside the kitchen door and recognized that she needed to call 911.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” Jay says. “I didn’t know where my right foot or my right hand was, and I couldn’t see out of my right eye.”

STROKE TEAM ACTS

Living close to Lutheran Medical Center meant that paramedics could get him in the Emergency Department door in moments, where the stroke team, including a neurosurgeon, was already waiting. After it was determined Jay did not have a brain bleed, he was treated with tPA. If given within three hours of a stroke, the drug can significantly improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. He received tPA just 15 minutes after his arrival, which is the fastest time clocked so far at Lutheran, a certified Primary Stroke Center.

One month after his stroke, Jay, 67, had no further symptoms and was recover- ing from the effects of the stroke. He still had some memory problems and may for up to a year, but the right-side paralysis and vision problems were gone.

SHARING THE LESSON

“Everyone was wonderful – the paramedics and all the staff at Lutheran,” Lori says. “By the time I got to the hospital a few minutes later, Jay was already in CT. When I saw him back in the room, he was starting to improve from the medication.”

Lori has advice for other women, especially if their husbands might be the type to resist going to the hospital: Call 911 anyway. Lori wasn’t sure how serious it was in the moment, but once Jay started talking and things got a little calmer, she was able to tell the 911 dispatcher that she thought he was having a stroke. That information set all the right things in motion for a quick assessment, treatment and a more complete recovery.

»WE’RE HERE WHEN STROKE STRIKES

Stroke strikes 785,000 Americans per year. If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing the signs or symptoms of a stroke, call 911. The sooner treatment for stroke can begin, the better the chance for an improved outcome. At Lutheran, we are a Primary Stroke Center and have been recognized for meeting the latest treatment guidelines.