Caitlin Loomis, MD, is a neurologist who specializes in disorders that affect blood vessels in and around the brain—a subspecialty called vascular neurology. She primarily sees patients who have had strokes, most of which are caused by a blocked vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke); and, less frequently, she treats patients with bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Dr. Loomis also provides on-call expertise through Yale Medicine’s Stroke Telemedicine Program, where she relies on live video streaming and imaging test results to examine stroke patients. She also consults with doctors caring for patients with rare conditions, such as inflammation of blood vessels in the brain, who are being treated at remote hospitals.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of stroke care now is that we’ve dramatically expanded the treatments we are able to offer patients, which gives them more of an edge in terms of their recovery,” Dr. Loomis says. For example, a treatment called mechanical thrombectomy uses a long tube, called a catheter, threaded through an artery with an attachment that captures and removes a blood clot from the blood vessel. “Yale is one of the few centers in Connecticut that offers thrombectomies to patients,” she says.
Whether she’s seeing patients in the emergency room or in the hospital, Dr. Loomis appreciates the chance to talk with stroke patients about their individualized plan of care. After an initial hospitalization, patients may see physical, occupational, or speech therapists to help them along during recovery journey.
“We’re also looking into ways that we can prevent further strokes in people,” Dr. Loomis says, adding that ongoing clinical trials at Yale Medicine are investigating the best approaches to stroke rehabilitation. “Clinical trials are really a great way to push the envelope and get patients the best possible treatment.”
Dr. Loomis is an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine.