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Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
Date:8/20/2007

(August 21, 2007 -- WASHINGTON, DC) A coalition of physicians representing a wide range of medical specialties has issued a call to action to improve the treatment of stroke. The group, which includes nationally recognized leaders in neurology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, and cardiology, was drawn together by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to address one of the most pressing medical needs in this countrythe rapid treatment of stroke using catheter-based techniques.

The only way to minimize the damage from a stroke is to restore blood flow to the brain and do it absolutely as quickly as possible, said Christopher J. White, M.D., chairman of cardiology at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, and director of the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute. There is a huge shortage of physicians trained in catheter-based treatments for stroke, and we need to do something about it.

A plan for solving that physician shortage is published online today and in the September 2007 issue of SCAIs official journal, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions (CCI). The document is entitled, Interventional Stroke Therapy: Current State of the Art and Needs Assessment. Dr. White is editor-in-chief of CCI.

Each year nearly three-quarters of a million people suffer a stroke in the United States. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in this country, and is responsible for 1 in 16 deaths.

The use of clot-busting drugs is a well-established therapy for stroke. However, only about 20 percent of stroke patients are considered eligible for clot-busters and only about 2 percent of stroke patients are actually treated with these medications. In part, this may be due to the narrow timeframe during which clot-busters are safe and effectivewithin just 3 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Unfortunately, most patients arrive at the emergency room too late.

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Contact: Kathy Boyd David
kbdavid@scai.org
717-422-1181
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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