Hartford Healthcare doctor: EVT saving the lives of stroke victims
Doctors are highlighting a new breakthrough treatment that is saving the lives of stroke victims during Stroke Awareness Month.
The treatment saved the life of 46-year-old Jose Contreras from Bridgeport.
"I was having a stroke," said Contreras.
Contreras was rushed to Saint Vincent's Medical Center last May.
"He had bleeding that actually affects his brain - that's a very specific type of stroke called hemorrhagic stroke," said Hartford Healthcare Dr. Daniel Cavalcanti.
Cavalcanti says the 3D imaging that Saint Vincent's is now using to pinpoint aneurysms in the brain can make all the difference.
"He had three aneurysms," said Cavalcanti.
Doctors at Saint Vincent's Medical Center are among the first in Connecticut to use this state-of-the-art imaging.
That makes it faster and easier for doctors to perform endovascular treatment that actually removes the blood clot.
It creates better outcomes for stroke patients and is the same treatment Contreras had.
"We need to get special tubing all the way from the groin or wrist up to the point in the vessel where there's a blockage. Usually caused by a clot and we are able to aspirate that clot out of the body. Sometimes we need to deploy little temporary stints," said Cavalcanti.
Doctors say some of the symptoms of a stroke are slurred speech, loss of balance and changes in vision.
"It can kill you and the outcomes can be dismal if the stroke is left alone," said Cavalcanti.
Contreras is now living a healthy life with his family.
"Dr. Cavalcanti saved my life. I'm a lucky guy," said Contreras.
The procedure can take up to three hours, but it is vital to get the patient in immediately.
The whole procedure uses minimal amounts of radiation, and it eliminates the need to transfer patients to another facility.