Friday, June 28, 2013

It takes a team


SECONDS COUNT: MGH staff and Boston EMS were honored at the MGH Acute Stroke Gala Breakfast.

Late last year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Donald Sadoway was spending time with friends in a North End restaurant when he suffered a stroke. Abnormal speech and impaired motor skills affected him instantly. Fortunately, his wife Rebecca recognized something was wrong and immediately called 911. Within minutes, Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived and quickly brought Sadoway to the MGH.

“I remember it was really fast and I thought ‘Gee, this is really good treatment.’ We just zoomed right through,” Sadoway says. “I remember receiving the TPA and being in a CT scanner, and then the next thing I remember is being brought up to surgery.”

For stroke patients, seconds count. Appropriate treatment with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is critical to mitigating the effects of the stroke and should begin within three to four and a half hours of symptom onset. The sooner it is administered, the better the outcome for the patient. From the moment a stroke patient arrives at the hospital the goal is to treat with TPA within 60 minutes. Sadoway was treated with the drug within 16 minutes of arrival and received surgical care a short time later. Thanks to the efforts of a highly organized acute stroke care team – that started with Boston EMS and continued at the MGH – Sadoway’s recovery was remarkable. The team who treated Sadoway was honored with the 2012 Acute Stroke Champion Award at the MGH Acute Stroke Gala Breakfast June 14 at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation. 

“It takes a team of dedicated individuals working across multiple medical disciplines around the clock to deliver this care with precision and safety that’s up to, and beyond, the national standards,” said Natalia Rost, MD, MPH, associate director of MGH Acute Stroke Services. “Today we celebrate the achievements of the MGH Acute Stroke Service team that delivered what we consider the highest quality of care.”

The awardees were Paul Biddinger, MD, Karen Kinnaman, MD, Bertrand Edward Corrieri, RN, Elizabeth Liszanckie, RN, and Haben Tsegai of the Emergency Department; Eric S. Rosenthal, MD, and Ariane Lewis, MD, of Acute Stroke Service and Critical Care Neurology; Ellen Penney, MD, PhD, of Neurology; Thabele Leslie-Mazwi, MD, Brijesh Mehta, MD, and Joe Dibenedetto, RT, of Neuro-Interventional Service; Sohil Patel, MD, Paul Caruso and Kathleen Sciola MD, of Neuroradiology; and Katy McLean and Sean O’Connor of Boston EMS.

“I want to express my profound gratitude to everyone here. It’s just absolutely stunning, everything was fast and  right on,” Sadoway said. “Thank you all, I wouldn’t be standing here like this if it weren’t for you.”

Read more articles from the 06/28/13 Hotline issue.

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