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Eisenhower Acquires the Penumbra Stroke System

The before (left) and after (right) images of a patient’s brain. The after image shows blood flow to the brain is fully restored.
The before (left) and after (right) images of a patient’s brain. The after image shows blood flow to the brain is fully restored.
Eisenhower recently added the Penumbra Stroke System® to its arsenal of tools for treating acute ischemic stroke. Ischemia refers to the lack of blood flow, and an ischemic stroke is usually caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood to the brain.

“The Penumbra System is yet another tool we use to help our patients with acute stroke,” says Mehran Elly,MD, Section Chief of Radiology, Eisenhower Medical Center. “In the proper setting, this device allows removal of the clot via suction to more quickly restore blood flow to the affected part(s) of the brain. At Eisenhower, we remain committed to provide the most advanced methods available to help our patients combat debilitating diseases.”

The Penumbra Stroke System is delivered to the brain using a catheter that is inserted through a small incision in the groin.Using X-ray guidance, the device is carefully maneuvered through the body’s blood vessels to the site of the clot in the brain. A device called a separator is advanced and retracted through the catheter to dislodge (or separate) the clot from the vessel wall, and then a suction device grabs the clot to remove it from the body.Once the blood clot is removed, critical blood flow is restored in the brain, limiting the damage caused by a stroke.

One of the chief advantages of the Penumbra system is that, unlike clot-busting drugs that must be administered within four and onehalf hours of symptom onset, this new approach can be used within eight hours — greatly expanding the treatment window.

“When someone has a stroke, a part of the brain has died, and other parts of the brain are at risk of dying because a clot prevents the blood from delivering the necessary oxygen and other nutrients such as glucose,” explains Farhad Limonadi,MD,Director of Neurological Surgery at the Eisenhower Neuroscience Institute.

that the still-healthy, but at-risk portions of the brain do not die,” continues Dr. Limonadi.“But, it is a delicate balance between perfusion (the process of delivering arterial blood to the cells and tissues of the body) and not causing excess pressure when the blood flow is restored.”

This underscores the vital importance of careful patient selection when it comes to using the Penumbra system because each clot is different, and having a variety of tools available helps doctors handle the range of stroke situations they encounter.At Eisenhower, Dr. Limonadi explains, a multidisciplinary team works together to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for each patient. This team includes a neurologist, critical care specialist, neurosurgeon and interventional neuroradiologist — the specialist who performs the Penumbra procedure.

Eisenhower Medical Center is designated as a Certified Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission — the first hospital in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to earn the organization’s Gold Seal of Approval™, its highest level of certification. To receive The Joint Commission’s designation as a Primary Stroke Center, Eisenhower participated in a rigorous application process and submitted data on stroke admissions, treatment plans and outcomes, demonstrating that its stroke care program follows national standards and guidelines that can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.

“Public awareness remains one of our biggest obstacles when it comes to treating acute stroke,” says Dr. Elly.“It is essential for the patients and the family to recognize the signs and symptoms associated with acute stroke. Timely recognition of stroke is the key to effective treatment.”

If you or someone you know experiences symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately. Paramedics play an important role in communicating with the Eisenhower Tennity Emergency Department and starting treatment en route to the hospital.

STROKE SYMPTOMS
One-sided weakness, numbness or paralysis
Blurred or decreased vision
Sudden confusion, and problems speaking or understanding what others are saying
Dizziness or loss of balance
Sudden severe or unexplained headache
Anyone who experiences these symptoms should call 911 immediately