February 28, 2024

Advantages of a Stroke Center in Louisville, KY

Nathaniel Todnem, MD, Neurosurgery
Baptist Health Louisville

Nathaniel Todnem, MD:

Most people, when they refer to stroke, they're talking about an ischemic stroke, which is usually caused by a blockage in a blood vessel and a lack of blood flow to the brain. A part of the brain can die if the blockage isn't cleared. It's important to get help immediately, because every minute counts after a stroke. They really need to get in, get fully assessed, and get an image of their brain immediately.

The thing that has changed recently with timing is [that] we rely more on imaging studies that help us predict how much of the brain is salvageable if we remove the clot and how much of the brain's permanently injured. Also, it's really important to go to a stroke center. If somebody goes to a smaller hospital and they're not familiar with working up stroke patients, or they don't have the proper imaging studies, a lot of time gets eaten up before they're transferred to a facility where they can do the actual intervention.

Baptist Health Louisville is a great stroke center. It's become a well-oiled machine. From the time you see the triage nurse, we streamline the process, and they get the imaging right away. We call it perfusion imaging and CTA, [which] uses artificial intelligence, and it pops up on our iPhone.

The computer will make an estimate if [it] suspects a possible case where there might be an intervention. Because we see a high volume of stroke [cases], over 100 per year, everybody's very familiar with what to do. It's almost an automatic response. I think that's what's important about going to a large stroke center when you're having a stroke. I think that's why Baptist is doing a good job.

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