Strokes are the #1 cause of long-term disability and the 5th-leading cause of death in the U.S. When treated quickly, many stroke victims are able to recover much or all of their functionality. But the more time that passes from stroke onset to when effective treatment begins, the worse the long-term outcome is for the patient. This is why it is absolutely critical to diagnose and treat a stroke as quickly as possible.
The most common sign of stroke onset is asymmetric strength of muscles, almost always appearing as weakness in one arm, drooping on one side of the face, and an unsteady gait. Additionally, the person having the stroke may begin to slur or have trouble thinking clearly.
Outside a hospital setting, strokes are often noticed fairly quickly because the person is usually up and moving and often in the presence of others. People around the person, and sometimes the person himself or herself, will notice the stroke signs and quickly call 911 for help.
Unfortunately, when patients are in the hospital, they are usually alone, lying on their backs, and possibly sedated and/or intubated. Typical stroke warning signs are frequently not noticed until a great deal of time has gone by. In fact, studies have indicated that in-hospital strokes account for up to 17% of all strokes, and hours can go by before the stroke is identified. By this time, significant and often irreparable damage has been done to the brain.
What Happens to the Brain as Minutes Tick By
A stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking an artery, known as an ischemic stroke, or by a burst blood vessel, known as a hemorrhagic stroke. Either of these conditions prevents oxygen from getting to parts of the brain. Within four minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die. It is estimated that after this point, two million brain cells die every two minutes.
While the healthy adult brain contains billions of cells, the functioning of the brain is incredibly complex; a single firing neuron can transmit to thousands of others simultaneously. The loss of hundreds of millions of cells that could occur in the delayed treatment of a stroke could cause permanent damage and possibly death.
The Neuralert Stroke Detection Monitor has been shown to detect signs of possible stroke five times faster than current protocols, saving precious time and decreasing incidents of long-term damage or death.
Early Treatment of Strokes Saves Lives
When someone has a stroke outside of the hospital, usually an ambulance arrives within 20 minutes and begins stroke evaluation protocols. If a stroke is suspected, the first responders inform the hospital, which is ready when they arrive to immediately provide an evaluation, followed by testing and imaging such as CT scan or MRI to determine the type of stroke and how best to treat it.
A patient who is already in the hospital for other clinical issues or procedures is another issue. Patients who have surgery such as a valve replacement or other procedures, will not be continually monitored for stroke symptoms. The patient may not be seen until the next visit by the attending nurse, and if not active or awake, the nurse may not notice any stroke symptoms. Studies show that half of all in-hospital strokes are not identified for more than 5 hours after onset, but Neuralert has been shown to identify 65% of ischemic strokes within 30 minutes (94% within 80 minutes). This time reduction enables hospital staff to more quickly use proven life-saving and stroke-mitigating medications and procedures.
How Neuralert Helps
Neuralert Stroke Detection System utilizes a unique, non-invasive wristband technology combined with a state-of-the-art algorithm designed by the University of Pennsylvania to detect asymmetry in arm movement, one of the initial indications of stroke onset.
What makes our patented algorithm so successful is that the program is able to mathematically model out other factors causing asymmetry (e.g., hand dominance, talking on a phone, etc.) which dramatically reduces false alarms. The system automatically sends an alert to hospital staff if signs of stroke are present, allowing for quick evaluation of the patient in order to begin appropriate treatments.
Contact us today to learn how Neuralert can significantly reduce stroke detection for your patients and improve chances for positive long-term outcomes.