St. Joseph's Hospital Physicians Among First in the Country to Use Brand New Treatment for Stroke Patients

Dec 21, 2011, 15:37 ET from BayCare Health System

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Joseph's Hospital Interventional Neuroradiologist Matthew Berlet, M.D. and Interventional Radiologist Glenn Stambo, M.D. are among the first in the county to treat acute ischemic stroke patients using a new device that rapidly restores blood flow to the brain.  The Trevo™ is a minimally invasive catheter system that uses Stentriever™ technology to remove the blood clots that cause stroke.

St. Joseph's is the only hospital in Tampa to test the device under an FDA investigational trial.  The minimally invasive catheter system is the first and only of its kind in the United States, and is already being used throughout Europe. 

"For years, we have used catheter-assisted thrombolysis to drastically change the outcomes for stroke patients at St. Joseph's Hospital and the Trevo™ provides a significant leap in the retrieval of blood clots," says Berlet, who serves as the Medical Director of St. Joseph's Hospital's Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Recently, Dr. Stambo used the new technology to save the life of a 69-year-old man who was sent to St. Joseph's ER with a National Institute of Health Stroke Score of 14 of 42, a severe stroke. 

"I never had a headache and I never thought I could have lost my life in that moment," says Charles Melious.  "Luckily, my wife noticed something was wrong and called 911."

Paramedics rushed Charles to St. Joseph's Comprehensive Stroke Center where he was greeted by its Stroke Team and whisked away to the emergency room's CT scanner.  Dr. Stambo removed a large basilar artery clot with just one pass of the Trevo.  Melious could have been severely disabled by the stroke with minimal chance of recovery, but instead was discharged from the hospital after only three days with no disability. 

"Today my life is back to normal. It's like the stroke never happened, like it was a dream," Melious adds. 

Acute ischemic stroke is caused by an abnormal blood clot, called a thrombosis, that blocks blood flow and can potentially be life threatening.  The key to treating acute ischemic stroke is to activate thrombolysis, or clot retrieval, as quickly as possible. 

The Trevo™ is a hybrid of current clot-retrieval systems that are used in catheter-guided thrombolysis.  Catheter-guided thrombolysis is the most definitive way to treat stroke and reverse the neurological effect, but it should be done as soon as possible to obtain optimal benefits. It is recommended that patients reach a hospital within three hours of symptom onset to be considered for intravenous thrombolysis. 

St. Joseph's Hospital is designated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, which certifies that St. Joseph's Hospital is nationally recognized to deliver the highest quality care to stroke patients.  This distinction recognizes that St. Joseph's has the resources to provide the best treatments for stroke, offering patients a better chance of recovery with minimal disability.

This year St. Joseph's Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes St. Joseph's Hospital's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.

The catalyst for every successful outcome at St. Joseph's Hospital is a Stroke Alert, a call to action for members of the hospital's stroke team.  One goal of the stroke team is to transport the patient to the emergency center's CT scanner within 25 minutes of the patient's arrival in order to determine available treatment options for the patient.

For more information about the Trevo™ clinical trial, or St. Joseph's Hospital's Comprehensive Stroke Center, please call (813) 443-2046.

(Editor's Note: this patient has consented to telephone/in-person interviews but has declined photo/video opportunities.) 

SOURCE BayCare Health System