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Millard Fillmore Receives Stroke Center Designation

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital has been designated as Western New York's only state accredited Stroke Center.

Steve Coan is a flight paramedic who knows only too well the importance of quick medical treatment in saving lives. So, when the middle-aged man awoke one night mute and paralyzed on one side of his body, he knew he needed to get somewhere fast. But to where? This was not a trauma that could be best treated at ECMC. And it wasn't a pediatric emergency that Women's and Children's Hospital could handle. That's actually where Coan was first taken. But emergency technicians knew where he needed to go -- Gates Hospital's new Stroke Center.

"I can't thank (my physicians) enough," Coan said. "When I was on the table, I had complete paralysis on the right side and was mute. They then did their procedure. Twenty-eight hours later, I was walking up and down the halls of Millard Fillmore."

Doctors physically removed a blood clot from Coan's brain -- halting damage from the stroke. It's that kind of twenty-four hour surgical intervention that helped earn Gates the Stroke Center designation from the state and the American Stroke Association.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the country and the third killer. Still, only 50 hospitals in the country have the special accreditation. Doctor Nick Hopkins is Chief of Neurology at Gates. Hopkins says they are second to none.

"There's just no place else in the United States that has the breadth and depth of people who can get an artery open, when it's closed by a stroke, as fast and efficiently as we can at Millard Fillmore Hospital," Hopkins said. "No place!"

Emergency service providers are being notified that stroke patients should immediately be transported to Gates Hospital for the most effective treatment.