LVAC hosts stroke seminar for its EMS providers

Dr. Snyder presents his findings on stroke treatment during a training session at LVAC on May 8.

LVAC hosted a stroke seminar for its EMTs and paramedics on May 8 presented by Gates Vascular Institute.

Emergency Medicine physician Dr. Mark Sieminski and Endovascular Neurosurgeon Dr. Kenneth Snyder presented their research in stroke and experience treating it. A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops.

Sieminski discussed prehospital treatment for stroke, statistics on incidence of stroke in Western New York and effective ways for EMS providers to identify a stroke.

Snyder said any patient that’s had any suggested symptom of stroke — even if they’re neurologically perfect — needs to come in to the hospital for an evaluation.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), often referred to as a mini stroke, can be a major warning sign.

“A TIA patient alone can have a 25 percent chance of stroke within the next two weeks — a major stroke event,” he said. “So just because they’re neurologically normal is not reason enough to not to bring them in for an acute eval. We don’t let people go home that have had a TIA event until a symptomatic vascular issue is treated.”

He also said his findings indicate there’s no such thing as a time window for treatment of stroke.

“We now use the physiology of the brain to treat stroke and there can’t be anybody that tells you they’re not in the right time frame, they’re not a candidate for anything,” he said. “We’ve opened up that window to the point that it’s only the physiology of the brain that’s a limiting criteria.”

Snyder called himself a “glorified plumber” who uses vascular surgery to remove the clots that can cause brain damage.

“The only way to get the clots out is to take the clots out,” he said. “It’s a surgical disease. And eventually the patient needs to be to a surgeon’s hands.”

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