Features August 2018 Issue

Thrombectomy Does Not Alter the Need to Treat Stroke Quickly

In thrombectomy, a stroke-causing blood clot is trapped and pulled out of the artery with a special catheter. The technique can be used on large blood clots that are unlikely to be broken up with tPA.

Thrombectomy Does Not Alter the Need to Treat Stroke Quickly

The faster a stroke is treated, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Paramedics are taught to take stroke victims to the nearest stroke center. But it may be in some patientsí best interest to be taken to a center that performs thrombectomy, even if itís farther away. These may be patients with severe strokes, in which case one-half their body may be paralyzed, their eyes may be pulling to one side and they may have difficulty speaking. Because itís not always that straightforward, Dr. Hussain and colleagues are developing a grading system to help paramedics identify the severity of a stroke, so they know how to make this judgment call.

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