The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of disability. The Cryptogenic Stroke Clinic at ProMedica Toledo Hospital is a leader in the nation in the diagnosis and successful treatment of strokes of an unknown cause, or cryptogenic stroke, and is helping to prevent future strokes.

“Cryptogenic strokes, which account for up to 40 percent of stroke cases, usually affect adults 45 or younger,” said Dr. Mark Richards, cardiologist and leader of the cryptogenic stroke team at ProMedica. “Therefore, the diagnosis and ongoing long-term monitoring and treatment by physicians, healthcare providers and patients themselves are the key to the prevention of future strokes.”

Treatment provided at the clinic may include the use of a small electronic loop-recording device, approximately 1-inch long and 1/8-inch in diameter, implanted in the patient’s abdomen to constantly monitor, record and report to stroke team cardiac and neurologic events that could indicate second or third life-threatening stroke events. The data is downloaded, monitored and interpreted for potential stroke risk factors approximately every 30 days.

According to Kelley Joseph, RN, stroke care coordinator at Toledo Hospital, “So far, more than 80 of these devices have been implanted in stroke patients at ProMedica.”

“Sixteen patients at ProMedica were found to have possible atrial fibrillation that could lead to future strokes, but were diagnosed and treated,” Joseph said.

Toledo Hospital is recognized by The Joint Commission for certification as a Primary Stroke Center, and this approach is being taught by ProMedica to other hospitals and healthcare systems across the country.

Stroke risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Others causes are atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat and carotid artery stenosis, which causes clot-forming and a narrowing of the vessels due to the build-up of cholesterol.

Eighty percent of strokes are preventable with the appropriate health screenings and changes to diet and lifestyle.

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