Extraordinary Stroke Care at Memorial Neuroscience Institute


Heading out to dinner with her mother, Karen felt a headache coming on. After dinner, they went for coffee and that's when the headache transformed into something more ominous.

“I couldn't see on my right-hand side; I could only see left,” Karen said. “I missed the turnoff to get the coffee and decided that I better go home.”

Fortunately, Karen's neighbors stopped by the next day. They found her in bad shape, unable to even sit up, and immediately called Hallandale Fire Rescue. While en route, the paramedics contacted the Memorial Regional Hospital stroke hotline. Based on her severe neurological impairment, the cath lab was activated early.

At Memorial Regional Hospital, a CT scan of her brain revealed Karen had suffered a stroke, with a significant blockage of her carotid artery. Under the direction of Brijesh P. Mehta, MD, Medical Director, Stroke and Neurocritical Care at Memorial Neuroscience Institute, Karen underwent emergent mechanical thrombectomy that successfully opened her artery. The procedure was performed within 60 minutes of her arrival at Memorial Regional, often deemed the “golden hour” for acute stroke care.

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Datasource: Stroke and Karen

“At seven days, I woke up and stretched and went, ‘Yahoo! I’m free,’” Karen said. “I was able to move everything. It was amazing. I had the best care ever, right from the get-go.”

Her stroke care team was also feeling pretty good.

“Each time we see an artery open up, it's unbelievable, the personal satisfaction that we get,” said Dr. Mehta. “There's no other feeling that can match that, in terms of a good outcome for the patient.”

For every minute that lapses during an acute stroke, two million neurons are at risk for permanent injury. Karen's story highlights the importance of recognizing signs and symptoms of stroke, immediately calling 911, and going to a Comprehensive Stroke Center such as Memorial Regional Hospital. The protocols Memorial has established in South Florida with local paramedics have led to countless life-saving treatments aimed at providing stroke patients with the best possible outcomes.