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Geisinger named Comprehensive Stroke Center

Facility recognized for high level of care

DANVILLE, MONTOUR COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke which is the fourth leading cause of death. If you or a loved one suffers a stroke, getting the best and quickest care possible is vital.

Not all hospitals are the same when it comes to treating a stroke. Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter and stroke survivor Mark Hiller visited one on Wednesday that received special certification which is a big deal for the hospital and an even bigger deal for its patients.

What you're looking at is the image of a patient who suffered a severe stroke. "That bubble... that's the aneurysm," said Geisinger Neurosurgeon Clemens Schirmer, MD, Ph.D.

Where the image was taken is part of what makes this case unique. The patient was treated at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville which was recently certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. GMC earned the designation by proving it can guarantee a level of stroke care 24/7. "We have a whole team of people available to treat even the most complex of stroke patients," said Dr. Schirmer who is the director of Geisinger's Comprenensive Stroke Center. 

The Comprehensive Stroke Center includes all of the components of a Primary Stroke Center and then some. It also features advanced imaging techniques as evidenced through a biplane angiography suite. "That allows us to look at a patient's head or body in two different angles at the same time which is really important for the navigation or steering catheters into the patient's brain vessels for example," said Dr. Schirmer.

That's exactly how the patient whose image you see was treated inside a new hybrid operating room that opened this month. "We were able to go up through the groin and actually never have to open up her head or do any kind of major surgery on her head."  When asked if they had to change course and enter through the head Dr. Schirmer replied, ..."If we had to we could have done it right here."

Delivering highly specialized stroke care to even the most complex stroke patients gives those patients the best chance at a full recovery. "Having the right patient stay at the right facility for their level of need is important," said Dr. Schirmer who added what's also important is to seek treatment immediately if you or a loved one suspect a stroke even if it's not at a certified stroke center like Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Remember when it comes to strokes, time equals brain.


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