MUSC Health Florence bringing life-saving stroke treatment to the Pee Dee

New medical procedure at Pee Dee hospital to help severe stroke patients

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - For many years, Pee Dee stroke victims had to travel long distances to receive advanced treatment.

In August, MUSC Health Florence opened up a Neurological ICU to treat a high number of stroke patients and enhance their recovery process.

By the end of September, they will be the first hospital in the Pee Dee to provide a thrombectomy. A thrombectomy is a procedure that removes blood clots from the brain.

MUSC Medical Director of Clinical Stroke Services, Dr. Christine Holmstedt, said it’s important to handle severe strokes as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately what happens when patients have to travel to get these procedures done, it’s sometimes too late," said Holmstedt.

Holmstedt said having this procedure in Florence will limit travel time and increase the chance of survival while decreasing the chance of long-term disability in severe stroke patients.

“Basically one out of every two and a half patients is going to walk out, and that’s why it’s so important to provide this all the way up in the Pee Dee region," said Homstedt.

MUSC Surgical Director of the Neurointensive Care Unit, Dr. Alejandro Spiotta, said the Pee Dee region has long been under-served in stroke care.

Spiotta said bringing the specialized thrombectomy procedure to Florence is one of many ways MUSC is enhancing healthcare in the area.

“It’s an area that desperately needs it and we have the expertise and we’re happy MUSC is taking this initiative so we can better care for the patients in the Pee Dee," said Spiotta.

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