EL PASO, Texas — University Medical Center announced the opening of El Paso’s first comprehensive stroke center Friday.
The medical team at the center will specialize in stroke care that works to diagnose, treat and provide rehabilitation to stroke patients in a timely manner.
Some of the specialists who will be working with patients at the center include neurointerventionalists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians and specially trained nursing staff, according to the UMC website.
Chief of Neurology, Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D. said the stroke center provides “direct access to patients with strokes that acutely require care.”
Having a center in the El Paso area is also important because “Hispanics are disproportionally affected by strokes,” Flores said.
Flores believes it is important to educate El Pasoans about strokes and its possible effects. Strokes can cause brain injury or possibly hemorrhages to the head, Flores said.
“Stroke is a substantial cause of death in the U.S., Hispanics included,” Flores said. “It’s also the main cause of disability.”
Flores wants to remind the public strokes are preventable by treating high blood pressure, diabetes and not smoking. Proper diet and exercise are also important. Medical experts say some strokes can be treatable.
“In the last five years there have been substantial advances in the treatment of strokes, such that if a person shows up early on in the hospital, within the first few hours, there’s a chance we can limit the damage it can cause to the brain,” Flores said.
Andrew Haggerty, County Commissioner Precinct Four, says he is excited to see the growth and improvement of the hospital.
“It helps not only El Paso but the entire region,” Haggerty said. “The closest one’s either in Arizona, in Phoenix or in San Antonio.”