World Stroke Day: Local doctors talk warning signs

Lafayette (KLFY) – With an estimated 17 million strokes worldwide each year, doctors are warning about the signs and symptoms to keep you protected. 
Think fast. F.A.S.T.: 
  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty an
  • Time to call 911. 
Those are the signs of stroke and time is one of the most crucial components. 
“Every minute in a stroke you loose 2 billion brain cells. We’re talking major loss of brain cells,” said Dr. Damon Patterson, interventional neurologist and director of the stroke program at Lafayette General Medical Center. 
“So if you go to bed, you get up eight to 10 hours later, technically we still have a window of opportunity for treatment, there’s a lot of damage that’s already been done,” Dr. Patterson said.
Dr. Patterson says stroke care has changed over the last decade with the acceptance of new procedures.
News 10 took at look inside one of the Cath labs at LGMC.
This is where doctors perform a procedure called thrombectomy where surgeons can remove blood clots from arteries or veins, sometimes saving the life of a stroke patient.
“This kind of blockage carries a mortality rate, which means chances of dying from it , of 75 percent,” Dr. Patterson said. “So only 25 percent of people who have this stroke actually survive.”
Patterson used a thromboctomy to remove a patient’s blood clot, releasing blood back into the brain. 
He said the patient survived with no complications. 
“We know now that stroke recovery happens as long as you’re alive,” Dr. Patterson said. “We used to say after a couple of weeks that’s as good as you’re going to get. But the most recent studies show as long as you’re alive the brain continues to rewire itself.”
Dr. Patterson says 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by lifestyle changes like losing weight, treating diabetes or high blood pressure and eating a healthy diet. 

 “By making good choices, not starving ourselves, not restricting ourselves,” Dr. Patterson said. “But just being smart about it, exercising, not smoking, we really do have the opportunity to avoid these things.”


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