AI technology being used to treat strokes in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – According to the CDC, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Strokes are a leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities. The use of AI technology made major headlines this week, as researchers say their work with AI is already helping to diagnose strokes more quickly and helping doctors remove them faster.

Dr. Amer Al Shekhlee, a neurointerventionalist and the stroke director at SSM Health DePaul Hospital, who says this AI technology is already in use here in St. Louis. Once a stroke patient has come through the emergency room, “we take a picture of their brain. This picture will be sent to the cloud, will be analyzed by AI technology, and will be sent to us as doctors, technologists, nurses.”

A massive headache, weakness on one side, trouble speaking, vision problems, or loss of balance are all early warning signs you don’t want to ignore. Dr. Shekhlee warns that if you have these symptoms, “Call 9-1-1. Don’t wait, as these symptoms can worsen rapidly.”

He says this new AI technology helps the stroke teams more quickly react to the stroke and navigate the devices to remove clots and salvage brain tissue. Time is of the essence if you have the potential to recover from a stroke.

This technology allows patient’s survival rates to increase tremendously.

“Patients with large vessel occlusion, in the old days before all this technology, approximately 60-70% of them either they die or they end up severely disabled. Now, with using this technology, almost 5% to 10% of them they die. Look at that. Five to 10% death mortality, compared to 60-70%.”

Take an online stroke assessment to see if you are at risk for developing a stroke.

To learn more about Stroke symptoms and recovery, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on KPLR News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.

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