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Each year, approximately 230 stroke patients come through the doors of Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. When someone has a stroke, two million brain cells are lost each minute that treatment is delayed, which means that every minute counts.

In partnership with a $2,000 grant from Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and a $4,000 stipend from Oregon Rural Health, the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation was able to purchase an i-STAT machine for the Emergency Department to help hospital staff perform urgent lab tests at the bedside of stroke patients.

“The i-STAT machine is able to return the results very quickly,” explained Rick Rhoton, interim Emergency Department manager at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. “This expedites care in emergency situations, which is very important.”

The machine can provide lab results within three minutes, which means patients can get diagnosed and treated quicker.

“We often say ‘time is brain’ for stroke patients because the quicker they can get treatment, the more brain cells remain intact,” Rhoton said.

The device also works in tandem with the hospital’s new telestroke program which provides live video consultations with neurologists at Providence in Portland. These two elements together allow the hospital to provide the best possible care for stroke patients.

The i-STAT machine can also be used with patients experiencing other emergencies, including heart attack, sepsis and bleeding disorders.