From an interview with
Dr. William Boulware
McLeod Regional Medical Center Neurosciences Committee
Stroke care has immensely evolved in the last 30 years. Dr. William Boulware of McLeod Regional’s Neurosciences Committee describes some of those advances.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Boulware’s comments:
Near the end of the 20th century, the American Stroke Association was formed as a branch of the American Heart Association. Guidelines were developed for hospitals that were going to specialize in stroke care.
In the early days of stroke care, they primarily made the patient comfortable and controlled their blood pressure. thinking this treatment would limit the stroke. And that was not, of course, found to be the case. Getting the clot open and re-profusing the brain with blood so that it could start recovering changed the paradigm in stroke care.
We realized we needed to have specialized nursing care and a specialized intensive care unit, if we’re going to take care of the sickest strokes in our region.
We moved from a stroke unit to a neurosciences unit, so that we could combine both postoperative neurosurgery, thrombectomy patients and patients with brain aneurysms. All this care should be found in one unit, where patients would have specialized neuro-certified nursing care. Patients have access to a spectrum of care, not just stroke care, but ventilator care, cardiac monitoring, airway monitoring, whatever was needed for the sickest neurology or neurosurgery patient.
And we’re going to be seeing more strokes and brain issues. Our population has a high rate of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol that leads to these disorders. As our population ages, more expansion of the neurosciences is going to be greatly needed in the area.
Now that we have a broadened neurologic approach for all of these disciplines, I think we can grow in those areas that need the growth and become a part of the standard care of the patient.
Learn more about stroke care.