Stroke centers open in San Francisco
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
September 6, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Citing a 40 percent chance of significant
recovery if a stroke is treated within three hours, health officials
announced today the opening of several "stroke centers"
in San Francisco hospitals.
The centers, which are dispersed throughout the city, are designed
to treat the blood clots and malfunctions that cause a stroke,
which leads to numbness of limbs, loss of speech ability and even
Treated at an early stage, specifically within three hours, death
can be reduced to a disability and paralysis can be upgraded to
On the other hand, if a stroke is not treated, the effects are
almost always permanent, according to Dr. John Brown, medical
director of the San Francisco Emergency Medical Services Agency.
"San Francisco is unique because it's the only city in California
where so many hospitals are coordinating to treat strokes,"
Health officials have done much in the last four years to train
emergency medical technicians and other urgent care workers to
treat strokes, Brown said.
Friday marked the first day, however, that hospitals citywide
joined together to combine training with new technology and increased
The new equipment includes CT scanners and rapid diagnostic equipment.
In addition, trained staff including neurologists will be on hand.
Brown said it also important that the public understands the
symptoms of a stroke.
A stroke can happen to anyone regardless of age, Brown said,
and its onset can be recognized by the appearance of one or more
of three symptoms: sudden development of numbness, especially
in an arm or leg; difficulty speaking or understanding spoken
words; and the inability to recognize your environment, such as
not noticing where you are or recognizing close friends or relatives.
Participating hospitals include the California Pacific Medical
Center campuses at Davies and Pacific; Chinese Hospital; Kaiser
Permanente San Francisco; General Hospital; Seton Medical Center;
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital; St. Mary's Medical Center; and
University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
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