Charlie Demuth of New Philadelphia was lucky.
Demuth, a Union Hospital employee, lost all focus in his right eye while he was transporting a patient from the radiology department back to the patient?s room.
?Obviously, something was wrong,? Demuth recalled.
Fortunately, he was in the right place. Demuth immediately made an appointment for a stroke screening the next day in the hospital?s vascular lab.
After the screening, vascular sonographer Mark Lancaster, told Demuth he had a serious blockage in the carotid artery in his neck. The artery supplies blood to the brain and a blockage could cause a life-threatening stroke.
Ultrasound images clearly illustrate how a clear artery
on the left is much different from a clogged artery on the right.
Mark Lancaster, a vascular sonographer at Union Hospital?s
Vascular Lab is showing Charlie Demuth of New Philadelphia
how his carotid artery was blocked, reducing the flow of blood
to the brain. Vascular surgery to open the artery restored
the normal blood flow.
Lancaster notified Demuth?s family doctor. Within a few days, Dr. Jeffrey Prem, a vascular surgeon, opened the blocked artery and restored normal blood flow.
Demuth believes the speed of the diagnosis and subsequent fast-track care might have saved his life.
According to Chris Beck, manager of the vascular lab and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, Charlie Demuth is one of some 1,500 people who?ve had stroke screening at Union Hospital since 2006.
?Stroke is referred to as the silent killer because it can strike without warning,? Beck said.
?Charlie Demuth was lucky. He noticed a warning sign and responded immediately to his blurred vision. Others can have blocked carotid arteries, an aneurysm in their aorta, or poor circulation in their legs but no obvious symptoms or advance warning that a devastating event is about to happen.?
Beck said the Union Hospital vascular lab is one of only 16 accredited screening sites in the nation and one of the mostly highly accredited facilities in Ohio for vascular diagnostic testing. The lab was designated a ?clinical site of excellence? and beta test site for Zonare, a manufacturer of ultrasound imaging equipment. Most recently the lab was named a beta test center for MedStreaming, a cardiovascular imaging software company.
?Our certified vascular sonographers and state-of-the-art technology provide low cost stroke and vascular screening every week,? Beck said. ?All you have to do is call and make an appointment that is convenient for you.?
Beck said Union Hospital offers the combination screening for stroke, aortic aneurysm, and arterial disease in the legs at a cost of $99 for all three. Test results are reviewed by local certified vascular physicians.
To make an appointment call (330) 364-0856 during regular business hours.