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Health Highlights: Feb. 16, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Extends Use of Clot Retrieval Device

The time window for use of a clot retrieval device to treat certain stroke patients has been extended from six to 24 hours, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

The Trevo clot retrieval device is used to treat patients who suffer an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot.

"Time is critical following the onset of stroke symptoms. Expanding the treatment window from 6 to 24 hours will significantly increase the number of stroke patients who may benefit from treatment," Carlos Pena, director of the division of neurological and physical medicine devices at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release.

"Health care providers and their patients now have better tools for treating stroke and potentially preventing long-term disability," Pena added.

The FDA first approved the device in 2012 to remove blood clots and restore blood flow in ischemic stroke patients who could not receive the clot-busting drug t-PA or for patients who did not respond to the drug.

In 2016, approval of the device was expanded to include use with t-PA if used within six hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. This latest approval extends that length of time.

Potential risks posed by the device include failure to remove the blood clot, new blockages in other areas of the brain, arterial tears, and complications at the thigh artery entry point, the FDA said.

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Posted: February 2018

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