On average, one American dies from a stroke every four minutes, so every second counts.
Dr. Tom Devlin, medical director of Erlanger's Southeast Regional Stroke Center says, "We're here to talk about some new technology that is really going to be tremendous game changer in the field of stroke."
Dr. Devlin is talking about a portable monitoring machine from Neural Analytics is used for the early detection of stroke. The first of the three phase study is currently underway.
Dr. Tom Devlin says, "Erlanger is anticipated to be the first center in the U.S. to have this amazing computer technology."
The technology uses ultrasound to measure blood flow in the patient's brain and will give clinicians important information to more rapidly assist in the diagnoses and monitoring of stroke patients.
Dr. Devlin says Erlanger treats over 2,300 stokes a year, and they are on target to treat more than 2,400 this year.
Dr. Tom Devlin says, "You can see right where we are, here at Erlanger in the Chattanooga region, instances of stroke in this region are higher than anywhere else in the U.S."
With this technology doctors and clinicians would know much sooner if a patient has a large clot in the brain.
Dr. Ron Buccheit is a physician in the emergency room at Erlanger. He's on the front line of treating these patients who don't have a second to spare.
Dr. Ron Buccheit says, "The sooner we can intervene, the sooner we can get them to the care they need, it can make a big difference to even feed themselves."
And that can mean the difference between independence and a life of disability or even death.
Dr. Devlin expects all three phases of the study to be complete by the end of the year and then await FDA approval. He hopes the technology will soon follow for a computerized system that can be used in the ambulance to transmit information back to the emergency room while the patient is en route.