“Having expert stroke care so close to home helped me get the critical treatment I needed very quickly. I’m very fortunate to have made a full recovery.”

Dane Copeland, MD

Neurology
PIH Health Downey Hospital

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On March 20, 2019, Alicia H., a resident of Bellflower, should have been celebrating her birthday, but she wasn’t feeling well all day and her husband noticed she wasn’t speaking clearly on the phone. He immediately left work and took Alicia to PIH Health Downey Hospital, which is just 10 minutes away from the couple’s home. Although the emergency room was busy, the staff noticed Alicia’s difficulty walking and talking and suspected a possible stroke. Within a few minutes, they took her in for a stroke assessment and within 10 minutes, she was admitted for testing, confirmation and treatment.

It turns out that she had an ischemic stroke, which is a serious condition usually caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The hospital’s stroke team, led by Martin Orens MD, emergency medicine physician and Dane Copeland MD, PIH Health neurologist, immediately administered a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a medication that helps to break down blood clots and restore blood flow to the brain when given within 4.5 hours of stroke onset. Alicia arrived just in time. She spent the next 24 hours in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and two days later she was released to go home. “It means so much that PIH Health Downey Hospital was able to care for me in my time of need,” said Alicia. “Having expert stroke care so close to home helped me get the critical treatment I needed very quickly. I’m very fortunate to have made a full recovery.”

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