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  • dr. brijesh mehta with title in lower third

    Memorial Neuroscience Institute Uses Artificial Intelligence to Optimize Care and Positive Outcomes for Stroke Patients

    A 29-year-old firefighter and paramedic, Eric, wasn’t feeling well after finishing a workout. He tried to send a text and could not move his left thumb and then his left leg went numb. His trainer also noticed Eric was slurring, so he called 9-1-1.

    Eric was transported by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center at Memorial Hospital West. Based on Memorial stroke protocol, the hospital had already been alerted by EMS paramedics and the neurointerventional surgery team was ready to perform a CT scan and treat in the catheterization laboratory, commonly known as the cath lab, an examination room with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the arteries.

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    Datasource: Stroke RapidAI Software      

    The hospital is equipped with RapidAI® imaging platform, which triggered an alert as soon as the scan results were available to Brijesh P. Mehta, MD, medical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program and Neurointerventional Surgery at Memorial Neuroscience Institute. He received the RapidAI alert on his smartphone and smartwatch, showing the software’s automated detection of LVO (large vessel occlusion), prompting him to mobilize the cath lab team and fast-track Eric for mechanical thrombectomy, a clot-retrieval procedure to remove the blood clot causing his stroke.

    “Before RapidAI, we were tethered to our workstations and had to take multiple steps to open the software to view the scans. It was cumbersome, and there was no automation,” said Dr. Mehta. “The value of artificial intelligence is that it streamlines our workflow, cuts down time and allows us to make decisions quickly and effectively at the point of care to benefit our patients.”

    In Eric’s case, the blocked artery was fully opened, and blood flow restored after the thrombectomy procedure in under 60 minutes from his arrival at the hospital.

    “Luckily, I had Dr. Mehta and the team at Memorial along with my trainer who recognized the stroke signs. So I’m just grateful to be alive right now with no deficits," said Eric.

    Since the program’s trial period began at Memorial Regional Hospital in 2017, the imaging platform has expanded to Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar and Memorial Hospital Pembroke. RapidAI has identified more than 8,400 strokes and helped the neurointerventional surgery team reduce door to treatment times, which is critical because nearly 2 million neurons are at risk of permanent injury every minute that elapses during a stroke.

    About Memorial Neuroscience Institute

    Memorial Neuroscience Institute offers a multidisciplinary team of experts who provides advanced diagnoses, leading-edge treatments, compassionate care, rehabilitation, and complete follow-up for some of the most complex neurological conditions and injuries. Neurosurgeons, neurologists, neurointerventional surgeons, neuro-oncologists, neurocritical care physicians, and neuropsychologists, among others, collaborate to provide a complete continuum of neurological care. Our neurology and neurosurgery specialists offer expertise in: stroke, brain aneurysms, brain arteriovenous malformations, brain tumors, epilepsy, MS, neuromuscular disorders, spine disorders, and more.

  • Dr. Samuel Ostrower

    New Bill Signed in Florida a Win in Helping to Identify Hearing Loss in Newborns

    In April, the SB 292 Newborn Screenings bill was signed in Florida that requires hospitals and other state-licensed birthing facilities to test for congenital cytomegalovirus, also known as cCMV, in newborns.

    Samuel Ostrower, MD, chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, is part of the Florida CMV Collaborative, a consortium of healthcare providers eager to improve education and screening for cCMV in Florida. Through this group and in recognition of his work to improve cCMV outcomes for Memorial Healthcare System, he was invited to testify before the Florida Senate in support of the new law.

    Dr. Ostrower says that cCMV is the most common cause of non-genetic hearing loss in infants and that more than 90% of women have never heard of CMV. This new bill aims to help provide education around the virus and early detection.

    “Raising awareness about congenital CMV is crucial to preventing hearing loss in children,” said Dr. Ostrower. “Even before the SB 292 Newborn Screenings bill was passed, Memorial Healthcare System began evaluating all infants who fail the newborn hearing screen for cCMV because if it is diagnosed early, there are treatments available to improve hearing loss.”

    CMV is one of the most common viruses worldwide, and more than 80% of adults have been infected at least once in their life. Symptoms of CMV are usually very mild, and if a pregnant mother becomes infected, she can pass the virus to her unborn child, which is known as congenital CMV. cCMV affects one in two hundred babies born in the United States. Ninety percent of infants born with cCMV have no symptoms, but it can cause permanent hearing loss - even deafness.

    If an expectant parent suspects that they may have contracted CMV, they should contact their obstetrician immediately to arrange to have the baby evaluated at birth. If a child is diagnosed with cCMV, parents can work with their pediatrician for a referral to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for treatment.

  • Leticia traveled to Memorial for an advanced immunotherapy called CAR T for her lymphoma.

    Leticia Traveled 3,000 miles for immunotherapy called CAR T-cell therapy

    Leticia moved to the Las Vegas area after she thought she was "clean of the disease" she had been fighting for years.

    "My primary doctor diagnosed me in 2006, and he sent me to Memorial," Leticia said. She had been in remission, but she went to see a Las Vegas oncologist because of a throat issue. "And sure enough, there's the lymphoma," said Leticia.

    So she packed up her camper trailer and drove the 3,000 miles to Memorial.

    "We had just opened our CAR T program here with a FDA-approved drug that very few centers in the state have," said Hugo Fernandez, MD, chair and medical director of Moffitt Malignant Hematology and Cellular Therapy at Memorial Healthcare System. "The beauty of it is you're developing an immune response against the disease that is strictly targeted to destroy cancer cells."

    "I have tremendous faith for the doctors at Memorial. I'm just amazed on how wonderful they are," Leticia said. "So now I feel terrific. I really do."

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    Datasource: Leticia