Immediate treatment is key to limiting the extent of brain injury resulting from stroke. Patients brought into the Boone Health emergency department are seen within minutes by stroke experts.
Your care team may provide a variety of treatment options, including medication and surgery.
A clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may be administered within 4.5 hours of suffering from a stroke. tPA is the only FDA approved treatment for ischemic strokes and works by dissolving the clot and improving the blood flow to part of the brain. It improves the patient's chances of survival and recovery to normal or near normal, and may also reduce the complications of stroke.
Time is most important because intravenous tPA can only be administered within a 4.5 hour window from the onset of stroke symptoms. The sooner tPA is administered, the better the chances of the brain suffering less damage.
In some circumstances, tPA is given into an artery that directly supplies the brain. Special devices may also be used to remove a clot in one of the major arteries of the brain. These procedures require specially trained neurologists or interventional radiologists.
Several types of surgical options are available and may be performed by a neurosurgeon to treat a stroke. Ischemic strokes can be treated with a clot retrieval, otherwise known as a thrombectomy. Ruptured aneurysms, a type of hemorrhagic stroke, can be surgically corrected by a clip or coiling procedure.