Stroke patient

Quick action leads to positive outcome for stroke patient

It had been a typical day for Joan Izyk from Oswego. She had enjoyed a breakfast out and was relaxing in her living room with a coloring project. When her husband arrived at home, she stood up to greet him in the kitchen, but she never made it there. She could hear her husband calling her, but was unable to respond. Izyk had suffered a stroke.

“I just went down, and I could not get up,” she said. “I couldn’t talk, so I couldn’t yell to him. He thought it was a stroke right away.”

“Impaired speech is one of the symptoms outlined in the FAST acronym,” said Josh Onyan, outreach coordinator, Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center. “Joan’s husband recognized that she was having a stroke, which helped her get the treatment she needed quickly and ultimately led to her positive outcome.”

The Upstate Stroke Team received notice that the 911 call had come in as a possible stroke. This set the wheels in motion immediately. Oswego Fire arrived at Izyk’s home and had her in the ambulance within 11 minutes. The EMS team recognized the right facial droop, right upper extremity weakness and slurred speech, consistent with the FAST symptoms. Izyk was rushed to Upstate University Hospital.

Once at Upstate, Izyk was greeted by doctors from both the Comprehensive Stroke Center and Emergency Department within five minutes of her arrival, and received her CT scan at four minutes, 21 minutes faster than the state guidelines. The CT report from the radiologist was ready within minutes, and indicated that there was no head bleed. This allowed her to receive her tPA in just 24 minutes. The state guideline for this is 60 minutes.

Izyk underwent clot retrieval and was resting at home just three days later, with only mild facial weakness.

When a patient suffers a stroke, time is brain. The fast actions of Izyk’s husband, the EMS providers at Oswego Fire and the team at the Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center were critical to her outcome.

Caption: Upstate patient Joan Izyk underwent clot retrieval and was resting at home just three days after her stroke, with only mild facial weakness.

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