Crews Medevac Stroke Patient from Kahakuloa

September 9, 2012, 3:57 PM HST · Updated September 9, 3:59 PM
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Kahakuloa 9/9/12. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

A 58-year-old woman suffering from an apparent stroke was Medevaced in serious condition from the remote town of Kahakuloa on Maui today, officials said.

Crews from Medic 10 out of Kahului initiated care, and transported the woman to a landing zone set up in a field fronting the Kahakuloa Church, said Maui Paramedics Association spokesperson Ryan Joslin.

There, an attending flight paramedic took over advanced cardiac life support care on the five minute flight via Medevac to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, said Joslin.

Maui Medevac 9/9/12. Courtesy photo.

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“It’s the goal of Paramedics to get their stroke patients to Maui Memorials stroke center within an hour of the onset of their symptoms so that patients may be treated aggressively,” said Joslin. “Doing so greatly improves the chances of patients avoiding long term and irreversible brain damage.”

The Maui MedEvac helicopter is a tool utilized by paramedics on a regular basis to assist in the transport of patients requiring critical care.

“Anyone suffering an unusual and sudden onset of headaches, dizziness, vision problems, slurred speech or numbness and paralysis to one side of the body should call 911 as soon as they recognize these symptoms without any delay,” said Joslin in a statement.  “The longer the delay to definitive treatment, the greater the damage that might occur to brain tissue,” he said.

Kahakuloa 9/9/12. Courtesy photo.

“Time is tissue,” he said.

When in doubt, medics advised the public to call 911.

Officials with the MCPA say there is no cost for an ambulance crew to respond to a location for a detailed medical assessment.

According to MCPA officials, Paramedics have the ability to consult with Emergency Department physicians in regards to activating a stroke team, so that they can prepare to treat an incoming ambulance patient with appropriate care.

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