Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Now, the Upper Valley has a comprehensive stroke center to be able to treat patients.
"The first one in the Valley from Houston down to Mexico basically," said Dr. Juan Padilla, Chief of Neuroscience at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. “Brain is time, the brain survival depends on how long the emergency specialist would take in identifying that, that is a stroke and giving the medication to dissolve the clot."
Dr. Padilla said patients had to be transferred elsewhere in the past for stroke treatment, but now it can all be done closer to home.
"The plan is that we can give the same treatment, the same medical education, that they have in Houston and in other places in the nation,” Padilla said.
Doctor Javier Cortinas makes the final decision in the emergency room, his team is dedicated to treating the patient as fast as they can, which is essential when diagnosing a stroke.
“We respond immediately, literally stop doing what we are doing and go and treat the patient,” Cortinas said.
He has seen the progression of the emergency rooms over the past decade here in the Valley, “We started with one bed and in 2009, we went to 12 beds and then we evolved into 25 beds, which is what we have now.”
Cortinas said he is glad he can keep patients within reach.
“We ended up not transferring the patient to any higher level of care, we are the highest level of care in the area.”
For a disease that is prevalent among the Hispanic community, the doctors said it is essential to have the proper care here at home.
A common effect of a stroke is paralysis, the certification also provides a rehabilitation option for those who have suffered from the disease.
Doctors want to let the community to know if you have symptoms of a stroke to immediately call 911.
Symptoms include: Sudden numbness, confusion, trouble seeing, trouble walking, severe headache and body fatigue.
For more information on strokes: https://www.strokeassociation.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-symptoms