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In recent weeks, two extraordinary stroke cases were successfully treated at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus, thanks to a unique, time-saving “Red Carpet Treatment.”

 

The first patient, a 93-year-old woman, made history as the oldest stroke victim in Israel to successfully undergo mechanical thrombectomy to remove the blockage in her brain. Admitted to Rambam, she received the fast-track Red Carpet Treatment for suspected stroke patients under the supervision of Professor Gregory Talman of the Department of Neurology and Dr. Yaakov Amsalem, Director of the Interventional Neuroradiology Unit. One day after surgery the patient was fully functioning and laughing with her family.

 

In the second case, a 67-year-old Gazan woman was at Rambam visiting her grandson when she suffered a stroke. Seeing that something was terribly wrong, the boy called for help. Upon transferring her to the emergency department it was learned she had suffered an ischemic stroke with a total blockage of the artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the left side of her brain. For her too, a mechanical thrombectomy was considered the best approach.

 

“The patient was lucky to be here when she had the stroke,” said Dr. Amsalem. “Time is a critical factor, and the needed treatment she needed just happened to be available. From the moment she reached our emergency department to the time the blockage was cleared, an hour and 15 minutes passed—record time for patients like this.”

 

Mechanical thrombectomy is a complex and delicate procedure. A catheter is guided to the blockage site, and the thrombus is “captured” and removed by means of a specially fitted stent. This treatment is available in only six hospitals in Israel—Rambam is one of them. This procedure is yet another example of how state-of-the-art interventional approaches are transforming the standard of health care and saving precious lives.

 

 Photo : Inessa Azarov and Prof. Gregory Teleman by Pioter Fliter