Humboldt General Hospital Presents 'Brain Attack' Seminar

Most strokes are preventable. And a large percentage of the ones that happen are treatable with the right care, right away. It's a matter of knowing what to do,

taking action and spreading the word.

This month, Humboldt General Hospital is joining with the American Stroke Association to raise awareness of stroke, the no. 5 killer of American men and women.

Each year, strokes kill more than 133,000 people; stroke is also the leading cause of serious long-term disability.

Thursday, May 18, area residents are invited to a special luncheon to learn more about stroke, how to treat it and how to prevent it.

From noon to 1 p.m., Hannah Kohler, RN, will discuss “Brain Attack: Be in the Know About Stroke.” Lunch will be served and there is no charge to attend.

A stroke is a “brain attack.” It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. The result is that abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control can be lost.

How a person is affected by stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak.

Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than two-thirds of survivors will have some type of disability.

Last year, Humboldt General Hospital partnered with Northern Nevada Medical Center to launch a Telestroke program here locally. Because “time is brain” and brain is life, there is roughly a three-hour window from the time stroke symptoms appear until the window closes on administering tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the best hope for busting the clots that otherwise can lead to permanent brain damage.

By the time a patient arrives at Humboldt General Hospital, providers assume they have an hour to act, said Emergency Services Manager Rita Clement.

Once the Emergency Department team confirms a patient’s stroke symptoms, they call Northern Nevada Medical Center, which pages the on-call TeleStroke physician. At Humboldt General, a nurse rolls a stroke robot to the foot of the patient’s bed.

The neurologist connects remotely to the robot via software on a workstation, a personal laptop or even an iPad. The physician can pan, zoom and tilt the robot’s camera to view the patient’s vital signs and charts, perform a full examination, and interact and converse with the patient, family members and medical care providers.

The neurologist then makes a recommendation for treatment, which the ED team carries out.

Participants in Thursday’s luncheon will get to see the stroke robot up close and learn more. Additionally, HGH Wellness Coordinator Billie Lucero said there will be plenty of time for participants to ask questions.

The “Brain Attack: Be in the Know About Stroke” luncheon will take place in the Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room at Humboldt General Hospital. There is no charge to attend and both men and women are invited to attend.