Jeanne Mackay looked at her husband, Bruce, and knew instinctively he was having a stroke. Jeanne followed the F.A.S.T. protocol, used when someone is suspected of having a stroke. In part one of a two-part series, see how Jeanne’s F.A.S.T. reaction — along with a team of medical professionals — saved her husband’s life. In part two, we will show you how Bruce’s hard work and determination helped to overcome his paralysis.
“I told him to look at me and smile. His face was drooping and I felt he was having a stroke,” Jeanne Mackay says.
Although her husband, Bruce Mackay, said to wait, she called 911. She was following F.A.S.T. protocol for suspected stoke.
F.A.S.T. Stroke Protocol
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911
“The ambulance is very important,” says Renown Neurologist Jorge Lopez, MD. “REMSA will call the emergency room and will say, ‘We are bringing a patient with a possible stroke.’ That activates the whole system.”
Lopez was home when Bruce was rushed to the hospital, but was able to look at the initial MRI through telemedicine equipment at his home. He ordered TPA — a clot reducing drug — to be administered in the emergency department.
Radiologist Anthony Bruno, MD, then transferred Bruce to the angiography suite to perform an arteriogram with special equipment available in northern Nevada only at Renown Health.The procedure involves placing a catheter into the artery to aspirate the blood clot or remove it.
“The important point is that the patients do the best when we can get to them early,” Dr. Bruno says.
Jeanne credits the stroke education she received as a patient at Renown for saving her husband’s life.
“I think you’ve done such a good job in educating people and making them aware of the symptoms,” Jeanne says. “It’s really important because if I hadn’t called 911 right away, he might not have survived.”