June 25th started out normally for Janis Soloway, but around noon she began to feel dizzy and told her daughter’s Laurel and Leah that she didn’t feel well. As she was saying this, Janis almost fell on Laurel’s bed because she felt so dizzy. Laurel went to call 911, but Janis told her that she “just needed to lie down,” and that she couldn’t go anywhere because “I haven’t showered yet.” Luckily, Laural thought otherwise and called her Dad, Michael, who came home from work right away. When he got home, he saw that Janis wasn’t just dizzy. She was also weaker on her left side, which he knew could be a sign of stroke. He immediately called 911.
That was the right call. The Emergency Medical Service paramedics also made a good call—to suggest to the Soloways to go to Crittenton’s Emergency Department, which they know is accredited as a Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
By the time Janis arrived at Crittenton, her left arm and leg were weak, the left side of her face was numb, and she had slurred speech. She also complained of a mild headache.
Catherine Loniewski, DO, was on duty in the Emergency Department that day and immediately ordered a CT scan of Janis’ head and shared the results with neurologist Cesar Hidalgo, MD. The CT scan showed there was no bleeding in the brain, and they determined that Janis could receive tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), a clot-dissolving drug. “They told me that I could take TPA because there was no bleeding in the brain. I said yes, and by that night I pretty much had all my speech and feeling back,” said Janis.
Most strokes are caused when blood clots move to a blood vessel in the brain and block blood flow to that area. Giving TPA within three hours of the first stroke symptoms can help limit stroke damage and disability. Dr. Loniewski gave TPA to Janis at 2:26 p.m., a little more than two hours after she first felt symptoms. Within hours, she was able to move her left arm and leg, her speech was clear. “The care at Crittenton was excellent. They really treated me well,” said Janis.
Thanks to her family, who recognized the signs of stroke and got her emergency help quickly, Janis suffered no lasting neurological issues and was discharged from the hospital two days later. “Janis’ story is evidence that the community is receiving appropriate education on the early warning signs of Stroke, and the importance of early intervention. Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) was used to treat Mrs. Soloway, who was actively having an ischemic stroke. TPA quickly restores blood flow to the brain. Mrs. Soloway was incredibly fortunate that her family was knowledgeable in recognizing that this could have been a stroke, and that the EMS crew knew that CHMC was a Joint Commission Stroke Accredited facility,” said Mary Maiorana, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department.