In a medical emergency, there is no such thing as being too prepared. Every measure – and every moment – counts; someone’s life is depending on it. As the region’s foremost provider of neuroscience services, Overlook Medical Center’s Atlantic Neuroscience Institute is equipped with an unparalleled breadth and depth of neurological, neurosurgical and neurodiagnostic services. Over the past decade-plus, Overlook has been steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that every piece is in place to diagnose and treat the full gamut of neurological disease.
The need for expert care delivered expeditiously is perhaps most evident in the case of stroke. Most strokes are caused by an interruption of the blood supply in part of the brain. This deprives the brain of oxygen, which causes brain cells to die at an alarming rate – two million per minute. Many hospitals in our region routinely transfer patients who require a higher level of care to Overlook, a Joint Commission-certified Comprehensive Stroke Center staffed with a team of stroke neurologists and nurses, as well as endovascular neurosurgeons who can remove brain blood clots through minimally invasive interventional procedures.
In November 2016, Overlook opened a helipad on the roof of the hospital to expedite the care of patients with acute neurological emergencies. “The majority of patients are suffering from a stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, or aneurysm, and are in need of highly skilled intervention and care as fast as possible,” says John Halperin, MD, chair of neurosciences for Overlook Medical Center. “Having the helipad allows us to speed care of patients at greater distances from Overlook, placing more patients in the time-critical window of opportunity during which interventions can save brain and save lives. Minutes saved in transport can lessen the severity of brain damage.”
By October 2017, Overlook had received its 100th hospital-to-hospital transport of a critically ill neuroscience patient. Patients have come from as far as White Plains Hospital in New York, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City, and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, as well as Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington.