It was Sunday evening, and Dr Tony Goddard was getting ready to leave Leeds General Infirmary. The consultant neuroradiologist had just completed a stroke case at the hospital, part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, when he was alerted that another patient was coming in.
That patient, Mike Wood, 57, suffered a stroke in his kitchen and was on his way to the hospital via ambulance, having been discovered by his wife, Julie. When he arrived, Mr Wood was met and assessed by a BAT nurse—BAT stands for Brain Attack Team. His symptoms at this time included right-sided weakness, eye deviation, confusion and the inability to speak. His National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 18, indicating a potentially severe stroke. A non-contrast CT scan was quickly performed, followed by CTA and CT perfusion scans.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals are equipped with RapidAI imaging technology, which uses artificial intelligence to quickly analyse a patient’s brain scans and deliver results to doctors within minutes—allowing Dr Goddard and the Brain Attack Team fast access to real-time views of Mr Wood’s brain. They could quickly see that a blood vessel was blocked, how much blood was flowing through, how much of his brain had likely “died” and how much could potentially be saved. This information helped Dr Goddard make the decision to perform a mechanical thrombectomy, the procedure that would remove the clot and restore blood flow to Mr Wood’s brain. He said the Rapid CTP results were especially useful in determining the amount of tissue at risk of becoming infarcted if the procedure was not performed immediately. “The CT perfusion results were very helpful and allowed us to make a very quick decision,” Dr Goddard said. “Just looking at the results, you could see the patient had a huge amount of salvageable tissue.”
Back in the angio suite for the second time that day, Dr Goddard used a stent retriever to successfully remove the stroke-causing blood clot through the left carotid artery. Within 24 hours, Mr Wood’s NIHSS score dropped to 7, and he was well enough to be discharged from the hospital six days after the procedure.
Dr Goddard credits a number of lucky factors that led to the success of the procedure. “It's one of those situations where everything lines up. There was no traffic for the ambulance crew, so the transfer time was quite good. He collapsed in the kitchen, so he was found immediately. We were already at the hospital (having just completed another procedure), and we had the information available to us with Rapid, which really helped to remove time from the equation.”