Straight Talk - "Radiology Technologist Week"

November 21, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

NCH recently celebrated Radiology Technologist Week, celebrating those professionals who touch almost every patient entering the healthcare system. The recognition of our NCH Radiology Department was greatly deserved; indeed, we are staffed by individuals of exceptional competence, using the most sophisticated medical equipment.

Dr. Park Hand, Chairman of Radiology, shared an inspiring vignette that demonstrates our capabilities:

“Last week, the stroke team at NCH, led by Dr. Mazen AbuAwad, took advantage of the new state-of-the-art tools and resources in the Radiology Department to engage in a case of intra-arterial embolectomy and reperfusion for acute large vessel stroke in a stroke patient.

“An elderly woman came to the Emergency Department with clinical signs of large artery stroke syndrome. The initial CT exam revealed blockage of a major artery that feeds a large portion of the brain. Using the latest CT perfusion technology, the team confirmed that there was a substantial region of brain tissue at risk of dying if adequate blood perfusion was not restored quickly. After careful consideration of the findings, the team moved forward with intra-arterial stroke embolectomy, using the latest clot removal technology, the Trevo Pro Retrieval System. The clot was successfully removed without complications. Within hours of the procedure, the patient regained function in her arm and leg.”

Such teamwork is critical in dealing with acute stroke patients; ensuring that they receive appropriate treatment in a timely fashion. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of serious long-term disability. Ischemic stroke represents more than 85% of strokes and occurs when a blockage or clot develops in one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. Major strokes in which a blood clot lodges in one of the larger vessels of the brain have a poor prognosis if not treated quickly. The goal of intervention is to remove the clot from the vessel in the brain, thereby restoring blood flow to the brain.

As to technology, our radiologists work with the most sophisticated equipment available. Latest generation devices, like the Trevo Pro, offer physicians and patients new options for stroke intervention. Along with the new 64-slice CT scanner, which is faster and uses lower radiation to produce better images, NCH has added a new MRI for larger patients and a new fluoroscopy room. This winter, we will add another state of the art biplane room to increase capabilities for all our interventional radiologists.

Our teamwork and technology in treating strokes echoes our 13-year-old, Code Save-A-Heart program, which has lowered the chances of dying from a heart attack in Collier County by about 50%.

Cathy Scranton, Lead Diagnostic Technologist for downtown, along with Susan Nigro, Lead CT Technologist as well as Registered Technologists, Brooke Langdon and Jerry Chess, are representative of our team of 95 highly competent and hugely compassionate folks who produce quality radiographic images for the NCH System.

All of our wonderful radiologists and radiology technologists have truly changed the way we practice medicine. And for that, we are all eternally grateful.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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