Changes in guidelines to treat strokes

Big changes to the guidelines for treating strokes means more patients will be eligible for a clot removal procedure.  In the past doctors only considered that procedure 6 to 8 hours after the onset of symptoms.  Now they will consider the surgery 24 hours out.

“I think it’s going to end up being a pretty large change,” said Dr. Christopher Nichols at Littleton Adventist Hospital.

During the procedure doctors go in through the artery of the groin with a catheter and guide it up into the brain where they try to pull the clot out or break it up.  The change in guidelines means that the number of patients eligible for the procedure could double or even triple.

This change comes after the completion of some very large successful trials.

“When we look at these major trials we are seeing these patients having great functional recoveries with minimal to no disability,” Dr. Nichols said.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in this country.  Symptoms include facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech difficulties.  If you think someone is having a stroke call 911 immediately.

 

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