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Are Stroke Centers Life Savers?

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – The odds of surviving a stroke are slightly better for patients treated at hospitals with a specialized stroke department, known as primary stroke centers, a new study finds. But that benefit was only seen if stroke patients got to a stroke center in less than 90 minutes, the study authors said. "Treatment of stroke is very time sensitive. As the saying goes, time is brain," said lead researcher Dr. Kimon Bekelis. "So the faster you intervene, the faster the patient recovers," he said. Bekelis is an instructor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Primary stroke centers provide integrated care, including timely administration of medications, such as the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator, also known as alteplase). They also offer special procedures to reduce the ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Activase, Alteplase, Cathflo Activase

Clot-Busters Might Be Useful for 'Previously Dependent' Stroke Patients

Posted 22 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2016 – Intravenous clot-busting treatment might benefit stroke patients who needed help with daily living before their stroke, a new study suggests. Stroke patients who already required daily living assistance are often left out of clinical trials of clot-busting treatment, the researchers said. With little information to go on, doctors might not treat these patients with powerful clot-busting drugs when they suffer a stroke, the study authors explained in background notes. "These findings prove that randomized-controlled [clot-busting] trials should be considered for such patients," said study lead author Dr. Henrik Gensicke, a neurologist at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland. This new study included more than 7,400 people in Europe who suffered an ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain) and were treated with clot-busting drugs. Nearly 7 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Activase, Alteplase, Cathflo Activase

Extracting Clot Beats Clot-Busting Drug Alone in Study of Stroke Patients

Posted 3 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 – Extracting a stroke-causing blood clot is better than just using a clot-busting drug for preserving brain function, a new analysis concludes. About 45 percent of patients who underwent the clot-removal procedure experienced functional independence at 90 days, compared with about 32 percent of patients treated with the clot-busting IV medication called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the researchers found. The evidence also showed that clot removal is as safe as tPA, said senior study author Dr. Saleh Almenawer, a neurosurgeon at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. "We didn't find more deaths, and we didn't find this therapy to cause more brain bleeds," Almenawer said. Stroke victims appeared to have the best chances of all if doctors used an angiogram to locate the offending blood clot, if the latest clot-removal device was used, and if patients were ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Activase, Alteplase, Cathflo Activase, Cardiothoracic Surgery

More Progress Needed To Get Stroke Patients Rapid Care

Posted 31 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 – Stroke victims still aren't getting treated soon enough, a new study suggests. Treating strokes quickly is critical, because the more time that elapses, the less effective stroke treatment may be, the researchers explained. A number of factors have reduced the time it takes stroke patients to get treatment. These include greater public awareness, better emergency dispatch procedures and improvements in hospital stroke units, the researchers said. But, delays in transporting stroke patients from regional hospitals to comprehensive stroke centers are still common, the team found. "Stroke requires a multi-disciplinary team that engages in a nuanced chain of events leading to treatment, and efficient and prompt patient transport via emergency medical services [EMS] is a significant link in the process," study author Dr. Michael Froehler, neurointerventionalist at ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Activase, Streptokinase, TNKase, Cathflo Activase, Urokinase, Alteplase, Eminase, Kinlytic, Anistreplase, Retavase Half-Kit, Abbokinase Open-Cath, Kabikinase, Retavase, Abbokinase, Reteplase, Streptase

Many Hospitals Overestimate Their Adherence to Stroke Guidelines

Posted 22 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 – Many U.S. hospitals overestimate their ability to provide fast delivery of a clot-busting drug to stroke patients, a new study finds. The drug, called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), has been shown to reduce the short- and long-term effects of stroke. It should be given to ischemic stroke patients within 60 minutes of their arrival at the hospital, according to guidelines. An ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. Researchers surveyed staff in 141 hospitals across the United States who treated more than 48,000 stroke patients in 2009 and 2010, and compared their responses with patient data. The results revealed significant differences between staff perception and reality. Only 29 percent of staff correctly estimated how long it took stroke patients at their hospital to receive tPA, according to the study published July 22 in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

Wide Variations Seen in U.S. Stroke Care

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Americans' odds of receiving a drug that can halt strokes in progress may vary widely depending on their ZIP codes, a new study finds. Experts said the findings, reported in the July issue of the journal Stroke, help verify what everyone has suspected: There are disparities in emergency stroke care across the United States, specifically in the use of a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. And the magnitude of the disparities was "striking," said senior researcher Dr. James Burke, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 20 percent of hospital markets, not a single stroke patient received tPA over four years, Burke's team found. In others, up to 14 percent of stroke patients received the drug. The big question is: Why? "We really don't know what's driving this," Burke said. The hospital markets that most often gave tPA were ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Clopidogrel, Transient Ischemic Attack, Effient, Aggrenox, Brilinta, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Ecotrin, Cilostazol, Pletal, Bayer Aspirin, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Dipyridamole, Prasugrel, Ticagrelor, Persantine, Bufferin, Activase

Expert Tips to Detect Early Warning Signs of Stroke

Posted 11 May 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 10, 2015 – Prompt treatment of stroke is key to preventing death and disability, but not everyone knows how to quickly identify the early warning signs of stroke. "Today, thanks to early detection, aggressive treatment and new intervention therapies, more stroke patients than ever are returning to normal life with limited to no disability," said Dr. Stanley Tuhrim, director of the Stroke Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Despite these accomplishments, it is clear that there is still much more work to be done to reduce the burden of stroke in our community. The challenge remains to educate as many people as possible about stroke's earliest warning signs and symptoms, so patients can get the immediate treatment they need," he said in a hospital news release. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Activase, Streptokinase, TNKase, Cathflo Activase, Urokinase, Alteplase, Eminase, Tenecteplase, Kinlytic, Retavase Half-Kit, Abbokinase Open-Cath, Anistreplase, Kabikinase

Clot-Busting Drug May Be Safe for Those With 'Wake-Up' Strokes

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – The clot-busting drug known as tPA appears safe for those who wake up in the morning to find they've had a stroke, a small new study suggests. Many people with these "wake-up strokes" do not receive tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) because of restrictions on its use to within three hours of the start of stroke symptoms. That's because for most patients who realize they have stroke symptoms upon waking, it's unclear just how long ago the stroke occurred. "There is a time limit of three hours [4.5 hours in select patients] to treat people with acute stroke with intravenous tPA, because there is an increased incidence of hemorrhage in patients treated outside the time window," explained one expert, Dr. Rafael Alexander Ortiz. Up till now, "in patients that complain of stroke symptoms at the time of waking up, it has been determined that the risk of treatment ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

More Stroke Patients Getting Clot-Buster Quickly, Study Shows

Posted 11 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 – More community hospitals are giving a powerful clot-busting medication to stroke victims, improving their chances of survival and recovery, new research shows. These local hospitals are becoming more comfortable using the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue-plasminogen activator) due to a new treatment scheme known as "drip and ship," said study author Dr. Kevin Sheth, chief of the neurocritical care and emergency neurology division at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. "Drip and ship" means that front-line hospitals quickly administer tPA to people suffering a stroke due to a blood clot in the brain, and then immediately transport them to a more advanced medical center with better stroke treatment facilities, Sheth explained. Sheth's study revealed that one in four stroke patients who received tPA did so under the "drip and ship" method, indicating that ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

Special Ambulance Delivers Vital Stroke Care More Quickly

Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 21, 2014 – Stroke outcomes are better when patients are treated in an ambulance by a neurologist equipped with a CT scanner and clot-busting drugs, German researchers report. The sooner patients get the clot dissolver – tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) – the better the outcome after a stroke, the researchers noted. For the best outcome, the drug needs to be given within the first hour after stroke symptoms start, the researchers said. "The so-called 'golden hour' is associated with improved patient outcomes in terms of hospital discharge," said lead researcher Dr. Martin Ebinger, from the Center for Stroke Research at Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin. "Our findings emphasize the importance of fast treatment in acute stroke," he said. Giving clot-busting drugs in a stroke emergency mobile unit (STEMO) substantially increases the number of stroke patients who get ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

Speedy Delivery of Clot-Busting Drug Helps Stroke Patients Avoid Disability

Posted 6 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 Another study confirms that "time is brain" when treating stroke patients with a powerful clot-busting drug, tPA. Prompt treatment with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, also known as alteplase) "is a very effective means of limiting the degree of disability in stroke patients," study co-author Dr. Jonathan Emberson, of University of Oxford in the U.K., said in a news release from the journal The Lancet. The study, published in the journal on Aug. 5, also reinforces the idea that the quicker that patients can get tPA, the better. One U.S. expert agreed. "The analysis reiterates the importance of patients going to the ER immediately at the time of developing acute neurological symptoms that could be due to a stroke," said Dr. Rafael Alexander Ortiz, director of interventional neuroradiology and stroke at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Clot-busting drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

Pros, Cons to Dissolving Lung Clots: Study

Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 17, 2014 – Drugs used to break up blood clots in the lungs may lower the risk of death, but they also increase the risk of bleeding, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from 16 trials involving use of clot-busting drugs called thrombolytics to treat life-threatening clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Despite the drugs' apparent life-saving benefits, the risk of major bleeding, particularly in the brain, remains a concern, experts say. "The study advances our understanding, but is not enough to provide a definitive recommendation for use in all patients," said Dr. Joshua Beckman, director of the cardiovascular fellowship program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study. The evidence suggests that clot-busting therapy has merit but needs more study to refine the method by which it is given and to whom, added Beckman. What's ... Read more

Related support groups: Xarelto, Pradaxa, Pulmonary Embolism, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Activase, Streptokinase, Alteplase, Heparin Sodium, Urokinase, Cathflo Activase, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Streptase, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose, Abbokinase Open-Cath, Kinlytic

Ultra-Early Treatment Reduces Disability After Stroke: Study

Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 – People suffering mild to moderate ischemic strokes who get immediate medical treatment can greatly reduce their odds of disability, a new study suggests. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, nearly nine out of every 10 strokes are ischemic strokes. Current guidelines recommend giving a clot-dissolving drug within 4.5 hours of stroke onset. However, the new study found that when these clot-busting drugs were administered even sooner – within 90 minutes of the appearance of stroke symptoms – patients had little or no disability after three months compared with patients who got the drugs later. "Despite the time window of 4.5 hours to give clot-busting drugs, there are clear differences between patients treated ultra-early – within 90 minutes – and those treated later," said lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase

Every Minute Counts for Stroke Victims, Study Confirms

Posted 18 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 18 – For stroke victims, 15 minutes can mean the difference between life and death, a new study finds. Rapid treatment with a clot-dissolving drug reduces stroke patients' risk of in-hospital death and increases their chances of being able to walk and return home when they leave the hospital, according to the study, published in the June 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "These findings support intensive efforts to accelerate patient presentation and to streamline regional and hospital systems of acute stroke care to compress [onset to treatment] times," Dr. Jeffrey Saver, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues said in a journal news release. Researchers examined data from more than 58,000 patients who suffered an ischemic stroke (in which blood flow to the brain is blocked) and were ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Streptokinase, Urokinase, TNKase, Cathflo Activase, Alteplase, Eminase, Anistreplase, Kinlytic, Retavase Half-Kit, Abbokinase Open-Cath, Kabikinase, Reteplase, Retavase, Abbokinase, Tenecteplase, Streptase

New Drug Bests Standard Treatment for Certain Strokes

Posted 21 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 21 – A new medication called tenecteplase may be more effective at treating strokes caused by clots in large blood vessels in the brain than the current standard therapy, Australian researchers report. "This study compares a newer thrombolytic medicine [tenecteplase] to the standard thrombolytic medicine [alteplase] in the treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke," explained study author Dr. Mark Parsons, an associate professor at the University of Newcastle School of Medicine and Public Health and a senior staff specialist in neurology at John Hunter Hospital, in Newcastle. Thrombolytic drugs are essentially clot-busters. The researchers found that tenecteplase was better at restoring blood flow to the brain after a stroke than alteplase. In addition, fewer people treated with a higher dose of tenecteplase had a serious disability at 90 days after their stroke ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Activase, Alteplase, Cathflo Activase, TNKase, Tenecteplase

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