Skip to main content

Utah Stroke Team Completely Reverses Symptoms of a Severe Brain Attack

Brain attacks, also known as strokes, are just as frightening as they sound. They occur when normal blood flow is interrupted to part of the brain, preventing it from getting oxygen and nutrients. Without those components, brain cells can begin to die within minutes.

This week, a Utah woman heroically recognized the signs of her husband’s brain attack and took immediate action, which allowed his care team to completely reverse his brain attack symptoms.

The moment his symptoms began— weakness in the right side of his body, drooping in the right side of his face, and being unable to talk—she called 911, allowing her husband to arrive at the University of Utah Hospital in time to receive tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a medication that promotes the breakdown of blood clots, in less than sixty minutes from the onset of the brain injury, not just from when he arrived through the hospital doors.

To better understand just how crucial each minute is when treating strokes, it’s important to understand how medical professionals rate the severity of strokes. The NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) assigns the presence and acuteness of each symptom presented in a stroke patient a number, which when totaled up, reveals a patient’s stroke score. This man’s stroke score was 23, categorizing his stroke among the highest levels of severity.

Additionally, the rapid neuroradiology interpretation of his brain imaging revealed a large clot that had blocked the blood supply to an entire side of his brain. He was taken immediately for a highly specialized procedure to quickly remove the blood clot by a team of vascular neurosurgeons.

Emergency Sign

Stroke diagnosis and treatment requires the expertise of many different teams—from neurology, emergency medicine, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, vascular neurosurgery, neurocritical care, nursing, therapy, and neurorehabilitation. Together, all these medical professionals pulled together to provide expert and optimal treatment that ultimately reversed his stroke symptoms completely.

Thanks to the stroke chain of survival, which began with his wife’s rapid recognition of a stroke symptoms, activating EMS immediately by calling 911, and getting him to the right hospital at the right time, the man ultimately walked out of the hospital with no remaining symptoms two days later.

How You Can Recognize a Brain Attack/Stroke

Visit this helpful page from the American Stroke Association to learn how to recognize a stroke and learn what it means to act F.A.S.T.