Family Health

When a Stroke is Possible, Experience Makes the Difference

fdab34b21455786ec5d7_Dr._Gary_Belt_2017.jpg
Gary Belt, MD, stroke neurologist, Overlook Medical Center
0020e7ff7bc673209cc3_877d0e368938480ea5e8_Angela_McCall-Brown__nurse_practitioner.jpg
fdab34b21455786ec5d7_Dr._Gary_Belt_2017.jpg

When it comes to accurately diagnosing whether someone has suffered a stroke, “one can never be too smart,” says Dr. Gary Belt.

Belt, a stroke neurologist at Atlantic Neuroscience Institute in Overlook Medical Center, has more than three decades of experience in making those tricky diagnoses. He knows that superficial signs that seem to indicate a stroke can’t always be trusted and that a stroke neurologist must think like a detective.

In a presentation he titled “Stroke Mimics,” Belt recently spoke to a roomful of nurses at the 2017 Atlantic Health System Neuroscience Nursing Symposium. His goal: To help them become more adept at what he called “the stroke or no-stroke game.”

Sign Up for E-News

Getting it right is crucial, because an accurate diagnosis – and the quick administration of the clot-busting drug Alteplase (tPA) – can have wonderful results.

“Since the mid-1990s, we’ve had a drug called tPA which, essentially, is like Drano for a blood vessel,” Belt said. “We know that if we open the vessels quickly enough, we can prevent a stroke or keep the damage from a stroke to a minimum.”

The nurses listening to Belt were all trained in The National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) test. Nurse practitioner Angela McCall-Brown, an expert in the NIHSS, also spoke at the symposium, relaying anecdotes that showed the importance of medical staff experience and knowledge during that first observation.

In addition to carefully assessing the cognitive capabilities of possible stroke patients, nurses must dutifully follow – in a specific order – the NIHSS tests of motor skills. These include having patients do simple tasks such as touching their noses, holding their arms out and rubbing one heel against the opposite shin.

In addition to carefully assessing the cognitive capabilities of possible stroke patients, nurses must dutifully follow – in a specific order – the NIHSS tests of motor skills. The value of speed in performing the NIHSS comes to play in helping doctors decide when patients should be treated with tPA.

Both Belt and McCall-Brown said they are sometimes surprised by the effectiveness of fast treatment.

“I had a patient … They brought her into Overlook Medical Center emergency department and she was totally mute,” McCall-Brown said. “She could sit and look at us and she was shaking her head, but she was not saying anything.”

The woman was administered alteplase and while the stroke team monitored the patient, McCall-Brown left the Emergency Room.

“I went back upstairs, saw some more patients on the unit, and came back downstairs to the emergency department,” she said. Knowing the patient could not speak, she started talking to the family.  I said, ‘So how’s everybody doing? My name’s Angela.’ And the patient says, ‘I’m much better now.’”

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Town Hall Meeting: One Middle School Two Campuses

January 20, 2018

Town Hall Meeting regarding one middle school program on two campuses SGS Campus and FMS Campus. 

Meeting to be held Monday, January 22, 2018 – 7:00 pm Franklin High School Auditorium 500 Elizabeth Ave., Somerset.

Come to Our Town Hall Meeting To:

ASK QUESTIONS & HEAR FROM:

Superintendent Ravally
Middle School Principals  
Content Area ...

Newark makes the short list for Amazon's next HQ2

January 18, 2018

Newark, NJ--Newark has been named as one of 20 finalists to host Amazon’s next headquarters in North America.

Amazon announced the short-listed cities on Thursday.

Other cities that made the cut include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, ...

Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Dog Outside Residence

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild went ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

New Brunswick, Highland Park, Rutgers, Use Art to Team Up Against Hate

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hate incidents across the country have been on the rise in the past year, and New Brunswick has been no exception.

That’s why city officials will be partnering with ​the Borough of ​Highland Park and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, for a month-long arts project meant to promote peace, love and understanding.

“Windows of ...

Flemington Attempted Murder Suspect Surrenders

FLEMINGTON, NJ – The suspect sought in what Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III called an attempted murder has surrendered, according to a press release issued this morning.

Ciro Perrone, 32, of Flemington, was wanted a warrant charging him with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and ...

New Brunswick's Homeless Hunker Down During Record-Breaking Cold Wave

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Kathy Gallis considers herself one of the luckier guests at the city’s warming center.

She has a social security check, a smartphone, and a hotel to stay at for at least a few days.

But the check is only a few hundred dollars, and the Sayreville hotel Gallis stays at charges $75 a night.

It’s easy to burn through the money quickly, and she’s come to ...

Newark makes the short list for Amazon's next HQ2

January 18, 2018

Newark, NJ--Newark has been named as one of 20 finalists to host Amazon’s next headquarters in North America.

Amazon announced the short-listed cities on Thursday.

Other cities that made the cut include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, ...

Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Dog Outside Residence

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild went ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

Republican Ellen Brain Appointed First Woman Mayor of Somerville by Council Democrats

January 17, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Ellen Brain, a former AT&T executive who has served on the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College, is the new Republican mayor of Somerville and the first woman to serve as mayor since the borough was incorporated in 1909.

“I’m delighted and I’m honored,” she said ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

TD Bank Ballpark Community Box Available to Non-profits, Community Organizations

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Requests are now being accepted to use the 30-seat community box at the TD Bank Ballpark.

To be eligible, applicants should be nonprofits whose client base consists of at least 50 percent Somerset County residents or community organizations that are located in Somerset County or have a facility based in Somerset County that serves the citizens of Somerset County.  ...

Republican Ellen Brain Appointed First Woman Mayor of Somerville by Council Democrats

January 17, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Ellen Brain, a former AT&T executive who has served on the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College, is the new Republican mayor of Somerville and the first woman to serve as mayor since the borough was incorporated in 1909.

“I’m delighted and I’m honored,” she said ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

Newark makes the short list for Amazon's next HQ2

January 18, 2018

Newark, NJ--Newark has been named as one of 20 finalists to host Amazon’s next headquarters in North America.

Amazon announced the short-listed cities on Thursday.

Other cities that made the cut include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!