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Unique Simulation Training Course Ushers in New Era of Stroke Intervention
Date:6/3/2008

SCAI Trains Interventional Cardiologists to Stop Strokes

WASHINGTON, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In the event of a stroke, every second counts in saving brain tissue and preventing disability or even death. Through hands-on simulation, physicians are learning to capture and remove blood clots in the brain through catheter-based treatments similar to the life-saving treatments used to stop a heart attack. To train interventional cardiologists and vascular specialists in what is called neuro-rescue, or stroke intervention, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) launched the first interactive, simulation-based stroke intervention course, "SCAI Core Curriculum in Introductory Neuro Rescue."

The program, developed for cardiologists already experienced in coronary and carotid artery stenting, introduces physicians to acute stroke intervention and provides hands-on simulation in clot removal. Each session is limited to 20 experienced interventional cardiologists in order to provide extensive hands-on training, allowing participants to practice removing clots from the brain on a unique simulation system. Clots are removed using a newly FDA-approved catheter-based clot-retrieval device. Physicians thread a guidewire to the clot through the carotid arteries in the neck. The wire is threaded through the clot, and when the device is deployed, the coiled wire wraps around the clot, acting like a basket and allowing the physician to pull the whole clot from the body and restore blood flow to the brain.

"In the event of a heart attack, 'time is muscle,' and in the event of a stroke, 'time is brain tissue.' Quick intervention can mean the difference between a full recovery and disability or even death," said Christopher U. Cates, MD, FSCAI, Director of Vascular Intervention at Emory Hospitals in Atlanta, and SCAI Secretary and Program/Course Director. "Cardiologists who participated in the course were able to practice removi
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SOURCE Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
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