Artificial intelligence a game-changer for some stroke victims –

Artificial intelligence a game-changer for some stroke victims –

Carla Di Cesare wasn’t feeling well when she got up on Sept. 13, but didn’t worry. However, later that day, when she had a pizza in the oven, she knew something wasn’t right.

“I opened the oven door, and I felt as if I was falling sideways,” says Di Cesare, 77. She took the pizza out and set it on the counter.

“I turned to close the oven door, and it happened again, and I thought ‘uh-oh’ … Within seconds, I felt a pulling on my face and eye, and my face drooping.”

She called a neighbour, who then called 911.

All Di Cesare remembers at Hamilton General afterwards was her family surrounding her and doctors discussing a procedure they wanted to try.

That procedure was a clot retrieval, but the “new” aspect was that it could now be done up to 24 hours after the onset of a stroke — if new software using Artificial Intelligence to analyze brain images and blood flow showed it was doable.

The software provides a much larger window of time to treat strokes. The window used to be six hours.

Di Cesare got to Hamilton General more than six hours after her stroke began, but the scans showed she was a good candidate for clot retrieval.

Of the 62 patients screened since the software was initiated on June 6 at the General, 18 were able to get the clot treatment.

Thirty per cent arrived directly at the General and 70 per cent were transferred from regional hospitals.

The software will be fully implemented across south central Ontario within three weeks to reach 2.2 million people. It will mak

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