CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The number one cause of disability in the country and the number three cause of death is stroke. South Carolina is in the heart of the stroke belt, and in the past the state had the worst track record nationwide for outcomes from the condition.
MUSC is improving lives after a stroke or aneurysm and creating jobs that save lives with an expansion of procedure rooms in the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center.
"I couldn't figure out how to get out of my bed. I couldn't move my left side. I didn't know what was going on. My husband tried to help me. He couldn't. My daughter came over, took a look at me and said you had a stroke," Donna Sharp said.
The doctors at MUSC's Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center helped save Sharp's life. They removed a blood clot from her brain using high-tech equipment. MUSC has now expanded its Neuroangio Suite to include a second procedure room, control room, and advanced 3D imaging machine, allowing the hospital to help more patients. It is the only hospital statewide to have this type of technology to remove blood clots from the brain after a stroke and use platinum coils to treat aneurysms.
"Now we can go through the blood vessels and take the blood clots out. We've been able to do that for three years now, and now with the second room we're able to do that without delays in patient care," said Director of MUSC's Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center, Dr. Raymond Turner.
It is a $3 million investment at MUSC, which was funded by the state. It will bring new nursing, radiology, and doctor positions at the hospital. More access to the life-saving treatments is good news for patients.
"I think it's wonderful. I think everybody that has a stroke should come here as quick as they can. It's a miracle what they've done for me, I tell you," Sharp said.
Doctors say to watch out for the following stroke signs, they make the acronym FAST: Stiffness of face, weakness of the arms, slurring or incoherent speech, and if the symptoms are present time is of the essence for medical care.
Possible aneurysm signs are a headache, nausea, stiff neck or loss of consciousness. Patients should seek medical attention immediately if the symptoms occur.