Lakeland, FL – Patients needing complex lifesaving neuro-interventional procedures for conditions that previously required transportation to hospitals outside Polk County can now receive immediate treatment at Lakeland Regional Health’s new Biplanar NeuroInterventional Suite.
In addition, Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to announce its Stroke Center, first certified in 2008, is newly designated as a Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Health Care Administration. The Agency for Health Care Administration developed this advanced certification for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex cases.
“Our patients look to us for safe and effective care,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “We honor that trust by investing in our team and in the latest technology. We are so proud of the exceptional physicians, nurses, clinicians and team members working closely together to ensure that patients with complex neurologic conditions receive the highest caliber of care.”
“We are pleased to receive this important recognition of our Stroke Center’s clinical excellence,” said Timothy J. Regan, MD, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center President and Lakeland Regional Health Chief Medical Officer. “As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, patients and their families are assured they can expect the best outcomes and safest, timeliest care.”
This high level of certification recognizes the significant difference in resources, staff and training necessary for the treatment of complex stroke cases. To earn this certification, LRH Medical Center was required to meet rigorous standards, including:
- Physicians and other specialists trained in vascular (blood vessel), neurology, neurosurgery and endovascular treatments.
- Experience and knowledge treating patients with complex types of stroke.
- Dedicated neurointensive care unit for complex stroke patients.
- Participation in stroke research.
“Families should know that their loved ones are receiving world-class stroke care at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center,” said Gabriel Pantol, MD, board-certified Watson Clinic Neurologist who serves as Medical Director of Lakeland Regional Health’s stroke program. “One key facet of this new designation is the establishment of a state-of-the-art Biplanar NeuroInterventional Suite, where minimally invasive radiology procedures can now be used to treat more complex strokes and neurological conditions.”
Leading the Biplanar team is highly accomplished Neurosurgeon Tsz Lau, MD, of the USF/LRH Neurosciences Center in Lakeland. In addition to completing a Fellowship in Skull Base and Cerebrovascular Surgery, Dr. Lau is Fellowship-trained in Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology and is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Highly specialized Neuro-interventional Radiologists like Dr. Lau are experts in these types of radiology treatments, using imaging equipment to see into the body and guide their procedures.
“This new technology now allows physicians to perform more complex neuro-interventional cases, such as stroke, brain tumors, cerebral aneurysms and other conditions of the central nervous system,” said Dr. Lau. “Patients treated using biplanar technology are likely to experience shorter recovery times, less pain and less complications.”
Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center treated 677 stroke cases in 2017. These new capabilities will make nearby emergency care available for even more residents in and near Polk County.
“Every second is crucial when it comes to responding to possible strokes,” said Dr. Paul Banerjee, Medical Director of Polk County Fire Rescue/Emergency Medical Services. “Families and physicians can have peace of mind knowing their loved ones won’t need to be transported outside of the county.”
In addition to its Comprehensive Stroke Center recognition, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center has operated a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center since 2008. The Stroke Center at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center also is consistently recognized with the Get With the Guidelines Target Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus award by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.
Stroke occurs when a blood vessel bringing oxygen and blood to the brain becomes blocked or ruptures. Deprived of oxygen, nerve cells stop working and the part of the body they control stops functioning as well. Warning signs of stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
About Lakeland Regional Health
Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 849-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates a Level II Trauma Center, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine and the nation’s busiest single site Emergency Department.