At Saint Luke's Hospital, neurologists have patients who waited days to get help, even when having symptoms of a stroke. Dr. Karin Olds, neurologist and stroke medical director at Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute how it is safe and why it is important to seeking emergency medical treatment, even during COVID-19.
"Billions of brain cells die for every several minutes the brain is without oxygen," Olds said. "There's only a certain window of time where we have a chance of reversing that stroke, either with clot-busting meds or an interventionalist pulling a clot out of the vessel being blocked."
Olds said COVID-19 precautions should be taken seriously, but not at the expense of life-saving treatment.
"You have to trust the medical professionals to protect you from COVID-19. I think we're doing a good job of that. I feel like I'm more likely to contract COVID-19 at the grocery store than I am at the hospital," Olds said.
Know the signs of a stroke and don't delay medical treatment, so BE FAST:
- B - balance, sudden loss of coordination
- E - eyesight, flashes or sudden loss of vision
- F - face, look for the droop on one side
- A - arms, hold both out - does one drift down?
- S - speech, slurring or speaking incoherently
- T - time to call 9-1-1