Spring 2018

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PATRONS | Spring 2018 16 of stroke for tPA to be administered. So without thrombectomy, the best a patient like Steve could hope for in the past was recovery and rehab. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, stroke experts estimate 20 percent or more of severe stroke patients should receive thrombectomies, but in some parts of the country, as few as 2 percent receive it. is is primarily due to a lack of resources and training to perform the procedure. Torrance Memorial's highly trained staff was first in the South Bay to begin performing thrombectomy years ago and expanded the program further in 2015 with the purchase of a biplane imaging suite in the recently built Lundquist Tower. Biplane imaging is the most advanced interventional medical imaging technology available and is essential to conduct the procedure rapidly. e digital X-ray technology uses two mounted rotating cameras, one on either side of the patient, to take simultaneous pictures brought together on a computer screen to form a three- dimensional portrait for doctors to study. Biplane imaging also allows doctors to follow the path of blood flow through the vessels and to create a "roadmap" for reaching and treating the precise location of clots and other malformations in the brain and neck. Namele was given minutes to decide to give the green light to perform the thrombectomy after doctors clearly presented the risks. A piece of the clot could break off and cause more damage to the brain, or Steve could experience further bleeding at the clot site. But her son Alex was blunt: "Dad would not want to live without a good quality of life. Mom, we need to go for it." And so they did. Namele and Alex were then taken to the Torrance Memorial waiting room where subsequently Dr. Richard Krauthamer, the interventional radiologist who performed the procedure, and Dr. Song came out to tell them the surgery had been a success. Dr. Krauthamer even showed Namele an image of the clot. She was surprised at its size. "It didn't look that big," she says. "Amazing that something so small could cause that much damage." Steve's experience and outcome were the result of careful preparation, planning and practice on the part of the Torrance Memorial and Cedars- Sinai teams. Namele still remembers what Dr. Song told her as they were taking Steve to the intensive care unit (ICU) after his procedure: "Your husband's result is exactly why we work so hard to prepare and train for stroke emergencies. is makes it all worthwhile." Since the stroke Steve has been diagnosed with asymptomatic atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia that can cause blood to pool and form a clot. He is now on blood thinning medication to ensure he doesn't experience another stroke. Otherwise, Steve's recovery has been remarkable. Even before he was discharged, the hospital's physical therapy team determined he didn't need the stroke recovery and follow- up care services available to Torrance Memorial stroke patients. Commitment to Advancing Neurological Care Torrance Memorial's leadership is committed to furthering neurological care for the South Bay community. A $16 million gift from the Lundquist family will establish a Neuroscience Institute, one of the only such programs at a non-academic hospital in Los Angeles County. e Institute will serve patients with neurological needs who otherwise would need to be referred out of the area. Additional funding will go to upgrade the surgical and ICU capabilities at the hospital. Meanwhile, the Bakers are busy appreciating each day. ey spend time with their son and new daughter-in-law. Steve has already spent time back at work, and they are planning a trip to France in September. Namele wants to make sure everyone knows their story. "I want people to know there is hope [after a stroke]," she says. CLINICAL SPOTLIGHT Edward Nazareth, MSN, RN, PCCN, SCRN, director of clinical educa on, prac ce and nursing research; Marco Pech, MSN, RN, stroke program coor- dinator; and Shlee Song, MD, medical director of Torrance Memorial's stroke program and associate director of the Cedars-Sinai department of neurology stroke program. The clot retrieved from Steve Baker's brain appears ny, but can devastate the brain.

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