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New Emergency Stroke Treatments Can Save and Restore Lives if Patients Act Quickly and Call 911
Date:5/17/2013

Trenton, NJ (PRWEB) May 17, 2013

Seeking prompt emergency care at the first sign of stroke is more important than ever because new interventions can open clots and restore blood flow to the brain, often reducing or preventing permanent damage.

A new generation of mechanical blood clot retrieval devices, some available in just the past year, is making emergency interventions more effective, neurosurgeons and stroke experts say.

“The truth is that 10 years ago, there was not too much we could do if you had a stroke,” said Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, Director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences and Chairman of the Capital Health Department of Neurosurgery. “However, today we have several effective interventions. So it's crucial that people not dismiss the symptoms of stroke and, instead, act quickly. In stroke, time is brain.”

A study in April's Circulation, a medical journal, found that more than one third of stroke patients failed to call 911, even though the use of emergency medical services is associated with a more rapid evaluation and treatment of stroke.

“Most people know the signs of a heart attack, and they know what to do,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu. “We need more education so people have that same understanding of stroke symptoms and that same sense of urgency.” Dr. Veznedaroglu’s comments come during May which is National Stroke Awareness Month.

Symptoms of stroke include:

Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Emergency stroke interventions include tPA, an intravenous clot-busting medication. It can be given to certain patients within three hours of the first sympto
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