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Tracy Krueger suffered a stroke while he was sparring in jiujitsu practice. He was treated at the Providence Neuroscience Institute.
The Providence Neuroscience Institute has an extended team of specialists that provide complex and minimally invasive surgery, as well as ongoing care, for patients with conditions of the brain, spine and nervous system — including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke.
Because he was treated at the Providence Neuroscience Institute, Krueger’s care continued after the acute phase of treatment. The team creates follow-up plans for patients that can include virtual appointments with a Providence neurologist via a service called Telestroke.
Providence Neuroscience Institute: a continuum of care
Tracy Krueger was fortunate. In November 2020, he was sparring during jiujitsu practice — a sport he’d taken up the year before — when he noticed his partner looking at him strangely. He later learned it’s because his face had started to droop.
“My partner called the (instructor) over and said, ‘This guy’s having a stroke,’” Krueger recalls. “They called 911 right away, but I was kind of numb at the time. I remember the paramedics coming in and putting me on a gurney. Then it was kind of a blur after that.”
“Patients with stroke symptoms should be treated as soon as possible,” he says. “(Because their blood supply is blocked), every minute, the brain is losing 1.9 million cells.”
Dr. Kansara worked with other members of Krueger’s care team to relieve the blockage from his brain quickly, preventing permanent damage.
“They took good care of me,” Krueger says.
The evolution of stroke care
Because he was treated at the Providence Neuroscience Institute, Krueger’s neurological care didn’t stop after the acute phase.
Our extended team of specialists provide care for patients with neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and stroke.
“Stroke care has changed over the years,” Dr. Kansara says. “Now the emphasis is not just on the active treatment of stroke but also on the continuum of care.”
After patients are treated for a stroke, they meet with Darren Larsen, RN, BSN, a stroke nurse navigator at Providence, to create a follow-up plan for their care. Once a patient has had a stroke, the focus switches to what Larsen calls secondary prevention. “It’s about how do we prevent them from having another one?” he says.
Reaching patients virtually through telestroke
Today, clinicians at the Providence Neuroscience Institute are even better equipped to provide quality follow-up patient care with a virtual service called telestroke. Telestroke provides comprehensive stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to stroke patients at local hospitals that don’t have an on-call stroke specialist.
“We provide telestroke services to 100 hospitals,” Dr. Kansara says. “Last year, we took more than 10,000 calls.”
Knowing we have virtual options adds to the sense of community patients feel when receiving care at Providence, Dr. Kansara adds.
“At Providence, you feel like you’re safe and being taken care of,” Krueger says. “And one of the things that also helped was that they helped my family feel safe. They were very communicative with my wife and kids.”
For caregivers like Dr. Kansara and Larsen, satisfaction comes from knowing they made a difference in a patient’s life.
“There are people who have gone through (a stroke) who are a lot less fortunate than me, who have not been able to recover,” Krueger says. “It’s a hard lesson, but I’m grateful that I’m able to lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, that I was able to recover, that I have the support from Providence and my family.”
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Providence Neuroscience Institute
The Providence Neuroscience Institute focuses on the needs of the patient and their family. We offer comprehensive services to treat conditions of the brain, spine and nervous system. These include pituitary and skull base tumors, stroke, peripheral nerve disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and epilepsy.
About Amit Kansara
Amit Kansara, M.D., is a neurologist cardiologist at the Providence Neuroscience Institute. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and board certified in neurology and vascular neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
About Darren Larsen
Darren Larsen, RN, BSN, CNRN, SCRN, is a stroke nurse navigator at Providence St. Vincent. He serves in the role at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, where he has practiced since 2017.
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