Tackling Stroke FAST with Awareness and New, Minimally Invasive TreatmentsheadingContent

Posted on October 22, 2020

3D rendering illustration transparent textured human brain side view isolated and glowing on blue purple background included with object clipping path
Retired Super-Bowl Champion Tedy Bruschi, a fit, former pro-football linebacker who helped the New England Patriots with his athletic prowess, recently suffered his second stroke.

A brain-attack or stroke can happen to anyone, at any age.

Awareness of the warning signs awareness using the FAST acronym along, with the combination of innovative care, is saving lives.

News of Bruschi’s 2005 stroke, reportedly occurring in the middle of the night, just three days after he played in the National Football League’s (NFL) Pro Bowl game are highlighted by the fact his wife, Heidi Bomberger Bruschi quickly noticed something was wrong with her husband and called 911. She reportedly noticed he jolted upward from a deep sleep with neck pain, numbness in his left side, vision impairment and the fact that while he was sitting up, Bruschi appeared unsteady. Bruschi’s wife noticed these stroke indicators which today are part of a national campaign for stroke symptom awareness by the National Stroke Association known as Act FAST or the FAST acronym:

F – FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A – ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T – TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

In July 2019, reports of Bruschi suffering a transient ischemic attack (TIA) stroke were reported. According to a statement from Bruschi’s foundation, Tedy’s Team – which focuses on raising awareness of stroke and heart disease while supporting survivors on their journey, he recognized his warning signs immediately: arm weakness, face drooping and speech difficulties.

The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association does a fantastic job in describing the five main types of stroke:

  • Ischemic Stroke (Clots) – Occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke (Bleeds) – Occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. The two types of weakened blood vessels that usually cause hemorrhagic stroke are aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled blood pressure.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – Called a “mini stroke,” it’s caused by a serious temporary clot. This is a warning stroke and should be taken seriously.
  • Cryptogenic Stroke – In most cases, a stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood to the brain. In some instances, despite testing, the cause of a stroke cannot be determined. A stroke of unknown cause is called a “cryptogenic stroke.”
  • Brain Stem Stroke – When stroke occurs in the brain stem, it can affect both sides of the body and may leave someone in a ‘locked-in’ state occurs, the patient is generally unable to speak or move below the neck.

Most importantly, if someone exhibits any stroke-like symptoms call 911 immediately.

Calling 911 is paramount because Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and fire-rescue teams can get patients to the hospital faster and ensure patients are taken to the appropriate hospital or medical center.

The EMS teams know the fastest path to a a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TSC), Comprehensive Stroke Center or Primary Stroke Center.

Interventional neurologists specialize in endovascular, catheter-based treatment for stroke. Using minimally-invasive, image-guided technology, interventional neurologists care for patients suffering from ailments and disorders found in the central nervous system, including diseases involving the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.