New, advanced emergency stroke care offered at Bridgeport Hospital

Friday, February 26, 2021

BRIDGEPORT, CT (Feb. 26, 2021) – Bridgeport Hospital now offers an emergency surgical procedure for patients suffering ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke.

This past December, Ramon Lopez, 88, was the first patient at Bridgeport Hospital to receive a thrombectomy to treat his ischemic stroke. Bridgeport Hospital’s Stroke Center provides 24/7 coverage by a team of experts.

Lopez was feeding birds in his garden when he started choking and slurring his words. His face was drooping on the left side and he could no longer control that side of his body. He began to collapse, but his daughter was able to grab him before he fell and call 9-1-1.

Once he arrived by ambulance to nearby Bridgeport Hospital, doctors quickly diagnosed Ramon with an ischemic stroke, which meant a blood clot was staving his brain of oxygen. The Emergency Department team gave him tissue plasminogen activator, a medication that helps dissolve a clot. Neurosurgeon Farhad Bahrassa, MD, of Yale Medicine, performed a 16-minute thrombectomy to remove the blood clot, ending the stroke.

The hospital is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, with care including rehabilitation and after-care support services.

Getting timely access to stroke care saves lives and reduces disability. Two million brain cells dye for every minute a stroke goes untreated. The Bridgeport Hospital Stroke Center provides area residents with more immediate access to stroke procedures such as thrombectomy.

It saved Ramon’s life. Three days after his thrombectomy, he returned home to his family, with little memory of the incident. “He told me he feels fine,” said Sarita Andino, his daughter.

With medications to prevent another stroke, Ramon is back to normal life, as healthy as he was before, with clear speech and no weakness on his left side. “He’s just bounced back,” said Sarita. “You can’t tell he’s had a stroke.” Ramon’s wife, Laudelina, remembers the permanent damage a stroke caused a family member many years ago and is shocked at how quickly Ramon has recovered. “When we found out he had a stroke, I thought ‘Oh no, this is going to be bad,’” she said.

“We are so grateful that he is here today,” said Sarita. “We truly believe that God has helped us through this.”

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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