New software helps victims of stroke receive better care, faster

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - "We want to make a difference for our patients and in our community and this is just one way they can show that."

Dr. Gillian Gordon Perue, stroke medical director at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center was one of many staff who wore shirts to raise awareness for World Stroke Day. To help prevent strokes they say it's important to know your numbers, like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

"If you think someone's having a stroke signs or symptoms think FAST. Face drooping. Arm weakness. Speech impairment. It's time to call 911."

"In May 2017 I had an acemic stroke on the right side of my brain."

Tamara Osgood, an environmental technician at the hospital, says it's not always easy to tell.

"I was having heaviness of my arm and I thought it was related to working out cause I was lifting weights."

Osgood did eventually go to EMMC for emergency care where she received a shot that helps clear blood clots. Surgery is sometimes necessary as well and the hospital just rolled out new software to analyze brain scans called RAPID.

"It's actually an artificial intelligence software and helps us to figure out who are these patients who need this emergency treatment." says Dr. Gordon Perue. "We'll see if a blood vessel is blocked by a large clot and whether or not there is an area of brain tissue we can save. This gives us an answer in two minutes as opposed to forty minutes later. Every minute that we save we save two million brain cells. So really time is of the essence."

It's important to always look for the warning signs and remember to think FAST.