What is a Stroke Unit?
The stroke unit in a stroke recovery center is a multidisciplinary team which includes specialist nursing staffs based in a completely discrete ward which has been particularly designed for the stroke patients. The acute stroke unit is actually an acute neurological ward that offers specialist services to the patients who have had a new suspected stroke. It is an emergency department that takes special care of the patients so that they survive the stroke and can be cured. Our acute stroke unit is composed of Neurointensivists, Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Strokologists, Neuro anaesthetist, Rehabilitation Therapists and Critical Care Nurses and it operates round the clock to deal with all sorts of stroke emergencies at its best.
How we take care of stroke patients?
Our acute stroke unit handles the stroke patients in the best possible way. A rapid assessment of the patient is done upon arrival, the cause of the stroke determined through imaging and appropriate treatment started without delay.
For a stroke caused due to an infarct (block of a blood vessel in the brain by a clot) the main principle of treatment is to dissolve the clot or remove the clot as early as possible
To restore blood flow
IV thrombolysis is intervenous thrombolytic therapy. It involves the injection of clot-dissolving drugs through an IV cannula placed in the wrist. It is done in the stroke ICU our doctors use rt-PA as Alteplase or tenecteplase for busting the clot. Our hospital has the highest number of successful use of Alteplase and Tenecteplase in South India.
In this procedure, the patient is shifted to the cath lab and a long catheter is passed from the groin to the brain to the artery which is blocked and rt-PA is then injected close to the clot to dissolve it. By this method, a very low close of the drug is enough to bust the clot. Doctors in our hospital have the expertise to do this procedure.
This procedure is done in the Cath lab, wherein special device called stentrievers are used. SOLITAIRE and TREVO are the common devices used. The stentriever is manoeuvred up to the site of occlusion, the deployed stent captures the clot within its struts and the clot is retrieved. This procedure, if done very early after stroke onset gives excellent results.
The speciality of the acute stroke unit of our hospital is, an extremely short-door to needle time which is less than 45 minutes. Our doctors and hospital meet the specific standards that are necessary to carry out this task with the main aim of expediting the care for the patients with acute ischemic stroke so that their chances of survival from the stroke is readily increased. Our primary focus is on reducing the delay time in the in-hospital treatment of the acute stroke patients.
Authored By Dr Somesh Vanchilingam - Neuro Specialist, Thanjavur
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