When it comes to diagnosing and treating a stroke, time lost is brain loss.
From the radiology department to the emergency room, staff at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo are ready if a stroke call comes in.
"Within 45 minutes of the arrival time to the report time, the ER physician can make a diagnosis and determine what method of treatment he wants to use," said Luanne Blasberg, Covenant CT Supervisor.
A new stroke alert system coordinates diagnosing and treating stoke patients from the moment paramedics are summoned.
"It's moved things along much quicker. It's certainly put the height and the intensity of getting this CT scan done right away, right at the forefront of this and we need to diagnose this right away," said Dr. Todd Lawrence, Covenant ER Medical Director.
May is Stroke Awareness Month so hospitals want to remind you, take a stroke symptom seriously.
"It's very rare that people come in right away. For whatever reason, they don't. So we always need to know when someone was last known well. And that's when the clock starts ticking," said Dr. Lawrence.
The coordinated effort is working--already the window of time has shortened for stroke victims.
"We're really starting to track it now and we've had some that we were very impressed with the report turn-around time. Some of them were under 18 minutes," said Blasberg.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.