Advanced 3-D, life-saving treatment gives Pee Dee patients higher survival chances

News13 Digital First

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Neurological services are expanding at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence. Patients will soon have access to timely, high-level treatment that is critical for stroke victims.

One in six people will suffer a stroke at some point in their life. New advanced treatment in the Pee Dee is now giving patients a higher chance of survival.

“If you have the right patient and you get them early enough and you’re able to take that clot out of their head they have a 70% chance or greater of walking out of the hospital, ” Tim Hagen, the Medical Director of Neurology and Stroke for McLeod Regional Medical Center said.

Medical thrombectomy is known as state of the art stroke treatment by doctors. The procedure removes clots to restore blood flow to parts of the brain. Mcleod is adding a bi-plane room and nearly doubling the size of a care unit to support this new procedure.

“There have been interventions such as thrombectomy and other neuro procedures that have had to leave our area and go to another region to receive these services,” Will McLeod, Senior Vice President Administrator of McLeod Administrator Campus said.

Before this technology, patients would be sent to Myrtle Beach, Columbia, or MUSC to receive treatment. A recent study shows only 30% of Americans can access a thrombectomy-equipped center in 30 minutes.

The biplane machine circulates a patient’s head taking three-dimensional scans of the brain. Dr. Hagen can see in real-time where blood is flowing and where it is blocked.

“With thrombectomy, you run the catheter up there and you can snare it or suck it, there are different techniques, and you can pull the clot out of the head,” Hagen said. “You want to do that intervention as soon as possible there are a lot of statistics in the stroke world, every minute 2 million neurons are lost.”

The images will give doctors a road map to guide a catheter, inserted in the patient’s arm or leg, to blockage in the brain. Doctors say when symptoms appear, every second counts.

Mcleod is also adding a 20-bed neurological intensive care unit. The department says it will be recruiting highly trained neurological physicians to support expansion for neuro interventionalist, a neuro intensivist, and neuro nocturnist positions.

Construction plans are expected to be complete by summer.

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