Stroke Care at Winthrop

Vol. 17, No. 3
Fall 2007

  • The Institute for Neurosciences: At the Vanguard of Specialized Care

  • Nine Winthrop Specialists Named to New York Magazine's ´┐ŻBest Doctors List

  • Good Health - It's in Our Hands

  • Tuskegee Airman Regains the Gift of Sight

  • Stroke Care at Winthrop

  • Under the Big Top

  • Golfing for the Kids

  • Pat Lyons Foundation Shows Unwavering Support for Generation of Survivors Program

  • Winthrop Opens LI's Only Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center

  • Migliozzi Family Donates Rocking Chair to NICU

  • Jay's World Foundation Shows Ongoing Support

  • Winthrop's Home Health Agency Tops National List Again

  • Clinical Trials: Bringing the Future of Medicine to Long Island

  • 2007 MineolaStreet Fair

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  • Bernard G. Chambers
    According to the American Stroke Association, about 700,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. And because a stroke disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, the consequences can be catastrophic.

    Early intervention is key to minimizing or even preventing the long-term effects of stroke.

    Just ask Bernard G. Chambers, an attorney who resides in Garden City and often tries cases in the Nassau County court houses near Winthrop- University Hospital.

    During his typical morning routine not too long ago, Mr. Chambers had the frightening realization that he, in fact, might have been suffering the early stages of a stroke.

    Parked outside of the Supreme Court building in Mineola, Mr. Chambers felt tingling on the right side of his face - not numbness, he reported, but a gentle tingling. Then he noticed poor motor coordination in his right arm.

    But these were not his first symptoms. In the days before, Mr. Chambers had noticed occasional bouts of dizziness. "It was an imbalance reminiscent of an inner ear infection," he remembers. "But it was very sporadic- it would come for a brief period of time and then go away. It really wasn't constant enough for me to become alarmed."

    Staff members from Winthrop's Neurosciences Unit proudly display the AHA/ASA Silver Performance Achievement Award, awarded to the Hospital's NYS-designated Stroke Center for its success in providing superior care to stroke patients.

    Once he felt the tingling on one side of his face, and the diminished coordination on the same side, he knew it was time for speedy action.

    "I called my office from my cell phone to let them know that I was going straight to the emergency room," he said.

    Fortunately for Mr. Chambers, the expert help he needed was just down the road at Winthrop's New York Statedesignated Stroke Center.

    Upon his arrival at Winthrop's Emergency Department, Mr. Chambers informed the triage nurse that he believed he was experiencing symptoms of a stroke.

    "I was quickly ushered into an examination room, and after answering some pointed questions and having a brief neurological test, I was immediately given medication," he said. He was told that the examination strongly suggested that he was having a transient ischemic attack (TIA) - also known as a stroke.

    In a short while, a CT scan confirmed the diagnosis. Mr. Chambers had experienced a minor blockage in his cerebellum.

    A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood - and the oxygen - that it needs to function.

    The medication that Mr. Chambers received, known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a drug that dissolves blood clots, which can almost immediately restore the flow of blood to the brain in ischemic stroke patients.

    This rapid action, on the part of Mr. Chambers and Winthrop's healthcare providers, prevented any of the potentially debilitating side effects that might have occurred if he had not gotten rapid and appropriate care.

    "As a trial lawyer, I have to be sharp," said Mr. Chambers recently. "And thanks to the care I received at Winthrop, I have not lost my edge, and have not suffered any lasting effects from the episode." In fact, Mr. Chambers reports that he feels better today that he has in a long time.

    "This event was a wake-up call," he reflects. Smiling, he says, "I think of it as a gentle tap on the shoulder- instead of what could have been a face-to-face meeting with my maker."

    Awakened to the importance of a healthy lifestyle, Mr. Chambers has become more attentive to his diet, cutting out or reducing high-fat foods like french fries, potato chips and ice cream. On the advice of his physician, he takes one baby aspirin a day to help keep his blood flowing.

    "I feel great, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity not only to continue my life's work, but also to enjoy a heathier life," he said.

    And Winthrop is proud to be able to deliver top-notch stroke care to Mr. Chambers and other members of the community. The Hospital attained its prestigious status as a NYS-designated Stroke Center more than two years ago after meeting rigorous state requirements including the creation of a dedicated Stroke Care Team.

    Earlier this year, Winthrop received the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's Silver Performance Achievement Award for its success in providing superior care to stroke patients, and was included in US News & World Report's 100 Best Hospitals in America July edition.

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