MERRILLVILLE | New technology and intervention techniques now available at Methodist Hospital expand the window of opportunity to diagnose and treat a stroke before brain tissue is irreparable damaged.
In addition, the hospital has been named among the best medical facilities in the nation for treatment of strokes, winning three awards presented by HealthGrades rating company, The American Heart Association and U.S. News & World Report.
A news conference and VIP party Friday at the Center for Advance Clinical Studies on the hospital's Southlake Campus celebrated those awards and unveiled the new $2.5 million General Electric bi-plane imaging equipment. Part of the hospital's Stroke Program, the equipment allows neuro-radiologist Dr. Majumi Oka and her staff to visualize two different angles or views of the brain at the same time.
"We can simultaneously view the vascular tree (of blood vessels) in the brain and navigate the device around the patient's head with more precision. This machine gives us a 3-D image of the vascular tree from any angle," said Oka, who is Indiana's only neuro interventional radiologist. She is an expert at removing stroke clots and opening up brain blood vessels during the bi-plane procedure.
The usual three hours to prevent damage to brain tissue is expanded to six hours through these procedures.
Methodist Hospitals' Stroke Program is now ranked among the nation's finest, according to Ian McFadden, Methodist Hospitals president and CEO.
During the conference, Kelly Benning of the health care rating company HealthGrades presented McFadden with the 2009 Stroke Care Excellence Award for its treatment of stroke patients. This is the fifth consecutive year the hospital has been given this award.
Greg Poe of the American Heart Association recognized Methodist Hospitals as part of the "Get With The Guidelines" quality care improvement program sponsored by the AHA and the American Stroke Association. He also presented McFadden with the AHA's Bronze Initial Performance Award.
In addition, the Methodist Neurology and Neurosurgery services was the only one in Northwest Indiana recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 50 in the country.
"These awards are a testament to the excellent work and dedication of our physicians and staff, and our commitment to delivering excellent quality health care," McFadden said. "There is a lot of excitement about Methodist Hospitals' development as a leader in sub-specialty care for this region."
FREE STROKE HEALTH FAIR TODAY
Methodist Hospitals will host a free Stroke Community Health Fair from 9 a.m. to noon today at its Southlake Campus' Center for Advanced Clinical Studies, 200 E. 89th Ave., Merrillville.
No registration is required. Among the offerings are stroke risk assessment including blood pressure screening, nutritional assessment, carotid bruit check and cholesterol screening for those who have fasted the required 12 hours.
Seminars by two physicians will also be presented. Neurologist Sanjeev Maniar will discuss "What is a Stroke?" and Mayumi Oka, neuro-interventional radiologist, will talk stroke emergency care.
RISK FACTORS FOR STROKE
High blood pressure
High bad cholesterol; low good cholesterol
Elevated triglycerides (chemical form fat takes in the body)
Source: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association