With no time to spare, local lawyer’s life is saved at Ridgeview

It started out as an ordinary day for Pat Neaton, a lawyer in Chanhassen, as he sat in his law office preparing to argue a motion via video conference in Carver County District Court. But quickly the situation changed. Neaton was having difficulty with his handwriting and pain progressed from his hand to his elbow. When he started slurring his speech, he knew something was wrong.

Due to the close proximity of Two Twelve Medical Center, in Chaska, Pat was receiving care in less than 10 minutes. “In no time, they had me hooked up to monitors and were doing several tests,” said Neaton. “I was extremely impressed with the responsiveness of the Ridgeview team. It seemed like I was the only person they were concerned about.”

This was by design. Ridgeview has been designated a stroke-ready hospital since 2014. This means if a patient comes to the Emergency Department with concerning symptoms, they are triaged immediately and virtually all resources are focused on that one patient. After a rapid assessment and initial tests, the Ridgeview team consults via telemedicine with a stroke neurologist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. This is exactly what happened with Neaton.

Emergency Physician Sarah Dundee, M.D. stresses that time really matters when it comes to stroke patients. “Our goal is to limit the amount of brain death, which limits the number of deficits a patient could experience in the future,” said Dr. Dundee. “In order to do that, we need patients to come to the Emergency Department early so we know what type of stroke they are having. If it is a blockage, then we can administer drugs that break up a clot and allows oxygen and nutrients to pass to that part of the brain.” For the drugs to be effective, they must be administered by physicians within three hours of the onset of symptoms.

Thanks to his immediate care and treatment at Ridgeview, Neaton is back to his normal routines. He’s cut back slightly on the hours he practices law. He uses his extra time enjoying his 10 grandkids and cutting and splitting wood on his 15 acres of land, one of his favorite activities. Pat’s also thankful for the team at Ridgeview. “I’ve always been extremely impressed with the staff, their competence, their diligence and knowing that they are there is a big relief to me,” Neaton said.

Photo of Pat Neaton and his Grandchildren

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