Melanie Smith, 40, was taken to a hospital suffering from a severe headache, slurred speech, dizziness, right-sided weakness, and vomiting. These were all apparent signs of a stroke.
Two hours after she arrived at the hospital, an emergency physician, Dr. Antonio Baca, examined her, prescribed migraine medication and ordered a CT scan. The scan was negative for hemorrhagic stroke.
However, Smith’s symptoms continued over the next few hours. Dr. Baca ordered an MRI and consulted with a neurologist. The MRI showed that Smith had suffered an ischemic stroke. She was then transferred to another hospital where she underwent a craniotomy. A craniotomy is the serious surgical procedure in which the skull is perforated. A bone flap is temporarily removed from the skull to allow access to the brain by the neurosurgeons. A craniotomy is usually completed so that neurosurgeons can remove a brain tumor or an abnormal brain tissue.