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Stroke Smart Magazine

January/February 2009

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Helpful Programs from National Stroke Association

Lupe had no idea that on a sunny July afternoon her life would be changed forever. After a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, Lupe and her husband Glenn met friends at their favorite Malibu restaurant to discuss an upcoming vacation. During the discussion, Lupe’s face contorted. Suddenly, everyone realized something was terribly wrong. The restaurant manager dialed 911. Within minutes, emergency medical services (EMS) arrived.

Luckily, the local EMS team was recently trained on stroke signs and symptoms. They also learned about a clot-buster drug study at nearby University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Paramedics immediately identified Lupe’s symptoms and notified the UCLA study investigators of her condition. EMS transported Lupe to a hospital where a UCLA doctor successfully administered the clot-buster drug, t-PA. Lupe would be the 50th person in the U.S. and 3rd in California to receive the drug. Thanks to the paramedics’ FAST identification of Lupe’s stroke and understanding the urgency of the three-hour window in which patients can receive t-PA, a two-inch clot was dissolved and Lupe survived.

Seven years later, Lupe and her family continue to be grateful for the training received by the local paramedics who helped.

EMS is the fi rst medical contact for more than half of all stroke patients. EMS transport also signifi - cantly shortens hospital arrival time. Recent study data shows that stroke patients transported by EMS are twice as likely to receive a timely CT scan—often the determining factor in whether a patient can receive t-PA.

National Stroke Association works everyday to educate EMS through Stroke Rapid Response™, an innovative program that teaches basic and advanced stroke information. Delivered through classroom and online training, the program improves basic stroke knowledge by as much as 40 to 45 percentage points.

For more information about Stroke Rapid Response™, visit www.stroke.org/SRR.


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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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