Life-Saving Stroke Intervention Offered in Rutherford County for the First Time

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Today, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford became the first healthcare facility in Rutherford County to offer a potentially life-saving stroke intervention called thrombectomy. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which an interventional radiologist uses a catheter to remove a thrombus (blood clot) that has formed in an artery or vein. Previously, stroke patients required time-consuming transfer to Nashville in order to receive this intervention.

Residents of Cannon, Warren, and surrounding counties will also benefit from the new offering at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford, as stroke patients at Ascension Saint Thomas Stones River in Woodbury and Ascension Saint Thomas River Park in McMinnville can now be transferred to Murfreesboro rather than Nashville for this intervention. In advance of the program launch, caregivers and staff in the emergency department, interventional radiology department, and critical care unit prepared by participating in hyper-realistic drills with neurohospitalists, emergency medical services workers, trauma dispatchers, the stroke program coordinator and many others.

According to the CDC, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Further, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. These sobering statistics highlight the meaningful nature of the new thrombectomy capabilities at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. Because swift removal of the blood clot is essential to reducing brain damage, time is of the essence in the hours immediately following a stroke. Reduced transport times will improve patient outcomes.

“There is a huge need for thrombectomy capabilities right here in our community. In the context of a stroke, every passing minute means lost brain tissue,” said Dr. Jennifer Burba, neurohospitalist and stroke program medical director, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. “Offering this important intervention closer to home will save lives and reduce a patient’s likelihood of acquiring a life-altering disability due to an acute stroke.”

 “Timely thrombectomy is the gold standard treatment for large strokes. Stroke patients have substantial improvements in their recoveries depending on how quickly clots are removed,” said Dr. Julian Yang, chief medical officer, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. ” All of Middle Tennessee benefits from this added capability to our hospital.”

Pictures are from a recent stroke drill.