Sparrow Stroke Center pioneers use of new technique to improve care for patients

A Sparrow and Michigan State University physician has pioneered the use in mid-Michigan of a device to restore blood flow to the brains of some stroke patients.

Syed Hussain, M.D., Medical Director of Stroke Services at Sparrow and an assistant professor with MSU's Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, is a leader in the use of the Solitaire device, a so-called stent retriever that operates much like angioplasty does in opening arteries for heart patients. The stent device, approved by federal regulators last spring, could significantly improve care for patients with major strokes.

The thin tube is extended through an artery in the leg up to the brain, where it is deployed to open a blood vessel and restore blood flow. The stent is then pulled out, taking any remaining clot lodged in it.

"We are excited about the possibilities for usage of the Solitaire device and the impact it could have on improving the outcomes of our patients," Hussain said.

The Sparrow Stroke Center is the only facility in the region accredited as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and has received international recognition for its work.

The center recently received the "Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award in Stroke" from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.