Swedish Medical Center August 08, 2018

HCA/HealthONE’s Swedish Medical Center announced that Ben Atchie, DO, and Don Frei, MD, board certified neuroradiologists with Radiology Imaging Associates, PC successfully performed a mechanical thrombectomy, a stroke procedure to remove blood clots in brain vessels, using the newest update to the Penumbra System. The system creates vacuum to allow clots to be gently aspirated out of intracranial vessels. Swedish Medical Center is the first hospital in the world to use the newest edition of this system on a patient suffering from an acute ischemic stroke.

“This is a new more powerful aspiration source providing suction to remove deep clots,” said Dr. Ben Atchie, primary physician on the case, “when the patient arrived to us, tPA had been administered but the vessel was still occluded. We were able to recanalize the blood vessel in under 9 minutes with the entire procedure lasting less than 17 minutes. This is not only a credit to the technique but also the team, and everyone involved.”

Swedish Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center located in Englewood, Colorado, is the first Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke center in the Rocky Mountain Region. The 408 bed hospital treats stroke patients from over 130 transferring facilities across 7 states. In 2017 Swedish’s median stroke door to needle treatment time was 20 minutes, compared to the national average of 60 minutes. This important milestone measures the time between a patient’s arrival at the ER and the administration of tPA, a powerful drug that can dissolve blood clots.

Physicians are hopeful the newest update to the Penumbra System will only increase the ability for Swedish to perform lifesaving stroke procedures in record time. “I have not seen better stroke care in any other place that I’ve worked or visited,” said Dr. Atchie, “from the ER door all the way to the patients getting discharged, it is a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows what to do and that time is of the essence.  It is an amazing place to work.”