Health officials say North Dakota’s Stroke System of Care is working to increase the chances that someone who suffers a stroke can recover from it.
The system was created by the Legislature in the 2009 session. Dr. Ziad Darkhabani is a neurologist with Essentia Health in Fargo – and he chairs the Stroke System of Care Task Force. He says the system allows hospitals to work together to make sure stroke patients get the care they need as quickly as possible. Darkhabani says the system works – very well.
"We're one of the few states that the stroke care is not just individual, based on hospitals," said Darkhabani. "It's actually a system of care. There are significant collaborative efforts with all the hospitals, the Department of Health and others -- significant large members involved in the care of a patient with stroke."
Darkhabani also says a new treatment procedure has proven to be very successful. He says it was begun in 2012 -- and is called "stent removal."
"It's a metal mesh tube, welded to a wire," said Darkhabani. "We actually pull the clot out with the stent."
Darkhabani says this procedure works well. And he says four separate studies published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine show a significant improvement in patient outcome in people who have a large vessel stroke.
"When there is a large clot involved, if the patient is presented within 6 to 8 hours and the clot is removed, there is much better chance for a patient to achieve a functional outcome, to be able to be independent, and hopefully go back to the workforce again," said Darkhabani.
Darkhabani says this technology is available in North Dakota.