New Innovations in Stroke Intervention

Modern Technology Fuels Advancements in Treatment and Survival Rates.

Today, in the U.S., every 40 seconds someone will experience a stroke. When a stroke occurs, blood flow to the brain ceases, and brain cells—devoid of oxygen—begin to die. Depending on the location and severity, an untreated stroke may cause disability or even death. Understanding how to prevent and treat symptoms of stroke can literally save your life. Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with Newsday HealthLink, offers the following life-saving information for you and your loved ones in the event of a stroke.

1. Know the Signs of Stroke and Act F.A.S.T.

When it comes to Stroke, time is of the essence and knowing the warning signs and acting F.A.S.T. can make all the difference for the patient.

FACE DROOPING — Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided? 

ARM WEAKNESS — Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? 

SPEECH DIFFICULTY— Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the person able to correctly repeat the words?

TIME TO CALL 9-1-1 — If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, “I think this is a stroke” to help get the person to the hospital immediately. Time is important! Don’t delay, and also note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Emergency responders will want to know.

2. Get to a Hospital Stat

After signs and symptoms are evaluated, a brain CT scan follows to check for bleeding or damage to brain cells. If the patient arrives within 3 to 4.5 hours of symptom onset, tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) the “gold standard” of treatment will be administered intravenously to bust the clot.

3. The Game Changer

Now, aside from tPA, there’s a game-changing method called mechanical thrombectomy which extends the timeframe to treat those suffering more severe stroke symptoms. This endovascular surgical procedure is minimally invasive and allows patients with devastating strokes to return back to their normal functions.

4. How it Works

To remove the brain clot, a catheter is inserted into the groin [A], threaded through the aorta and up to the brain [B]. There, a stent, acting like a fish net, suctions and pulls the clot out allowing blood to flow once again [C]. This advanced treatment can be administered up to six hours after stroke onset and is now performed at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center.

Bringing the Future of Stroke Care to the Community

Kimon Bekelis, MD, has recently joined Good Samaritan Hospital and will serve as the Director of the Stroke & Brain Aneurysm Center. Dr. Bekelis is one of the most prominent researchers in stroke care and treatment in the nation. Under the leadership of Dr. Bekelis, the Stroke & Brain Aneurysm Center’s neurosurgeons, neurointensivists, neurologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses with extensive training in neurological critical care, and the use of advanced monitoring technology, will provide comprehensive and continuous bedside care to patients during their recovery. Thorough diagnostic evaluation, careful monitoring, and innovative treatment techniques will help the Stroke & Brain Aneurysm Center team ensure the best possible outcome for each individual patient. For more information, please visit

Written by Marie Wolf. Source: Dr. Kimon Bekelis, Chairman of Neurointerventional Services for Catholic Health Services of Long Island, and Director of the Stroke and Brain Aneurysm Center, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content