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Critical Choice

Stroke patients must race against time during the eight golden hours to preserve brain function as much as possible. The patient in this case made a decision at a critical moment that affected him for the rest of his life.

Image by Cassi Josh

Rush Hours

One evening, 47-year-old Mr. Li (a pseudonym) suddenly experienced difficulty speaking and found his left limbs weak, unable to maintain balance. Half an hour later, he was taken to a public hospital, where a brain CT scan revealed no abnormalities and no treatment was administered.

At 10 p.m. that night, Mr. Li decided to discharge himself from the public hospital and was admitted to a private hospital, where he sought advice from a neurosurgeon specializing in stroke. Shortly after, the doctor discovered that Mr. Li had lost his ability to speak, and the mobility in his left limbs was reduced to only 20 percent. At 10:45 p.m., Mr. Li underwent MRI and angiography, followed by emergency angiography and mechanical thrombectomy a little over an hour later.

By 1 a.m., the blockage in Mr. Li's cerebral artery was finally cleared, and the blood supply to his brain was restored after being blocked for seven hours.

Thanks to being admitted, diagnosed, and treated within the critical 8-hour window, Mr. Li was able to preserve all brain functions and was discharged home four days later.

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