Life can change in an instant. Stroke is a perfect example.
“A stroke causes cessation of blood and oxygen to the brain. It can happen in two ways – one there is a clot that gets stuck within the blood vessel itself or that blood vessel can actually burst,” says neurologist Dr. Wendy Bond. She is on medical staff at Lee Memorial Health System.
When a clot lodges in an artery to the brain, it’s called an ischemic or ‘dry’ stroke. The longer it’s starved of oxygen, the more brain cells die.
“It seems people are more aware to get to the ER urgently because there is a clot busting drug called TPA that can be given,” says Dr. Bond.
Getting treatment within the golden hour - 60 minutes or less - offers the best chance for a full recovery. Each year about 350 patients were rushed by ambulance from Cape Coral to primary stroke centers in Fort Myers. With time being so important, it could’ve been a bridge too far.
The drive-time is much shorter today.
Cape Coral Hospital was recently recognized by the American Heart Association for becoming a primary stroke center, based in part on it’s ability to deliver exceptional care with great speed.
“What that means, is that people who live in our community can stay here in Cape Coral without having to go over the bridge for the care that they need. The sooner that we can see these patients, the better off they’re going to be in the long run,” says Scott Kashman, Cape Coral Hospital CAO.
Cape Coral Hospital joins Lee Memorial Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center and Gulf Coast Medical Center as Primary Stroke Centers.
“It took a tremendous team effort between our nurses and our physicians and the people behind the scenes, making sure clinical protocols are in place to make sure we deliver great care,” Kashman says.
Most importantly, at a destination close to home.