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Immediate Treatment

June 21, 2019

For treatment of an acute stroke, a stroke that has just happened, there is one drug that’s been FDA approved called TPA or tissue plasminogen activator. That’s a drug that right now it can only be given in the hospital and this is the reason that we want people to get into the hospital fast. On top of that, it can only be given really within the first four and a half hours after stroke onset, I would back up and point out that it’s been FDA approved to three hours, but most hospitals recognize an advisory from the American Heart and Stroke Association that have recommended that we give it up to four and a half hours in very select patients. And so because of this, it’s critical to get into the hospital. It’s also critical. This is a clot buster and breaks up blood clots. And so the reason we want people in the hospital before we give the medication is we want to first establish one that that person hasn’t had a hemorrhage cause it actually, it’s interesting the signs and symptoms of a hemorrhage versus an ischemic stroke can be identical. If someone’s got a clot that’s blocking an artery, an artery that rupture, you cannot tell the difference looking at someone generally. So the way that we differentiate is by a cat scan. So having someone come in the hospital and get a cat scan is a big part of what we need before we give them clot buster then, then we give them clot buster, recognize that this is the major drug that’s approved by the FDA for treatment of stroke. But it’s unfortunately far from perfect. It improves outcome, and by outcome, I mean disability by approximately 30% at three months. Now keep in mind that’s all comers. And what we’ve seen is that people who present earlier and get treated earlier do better than people treated, you know, so someone at our one after onset does better than someone treated hour to an our three than our four. So this is such an important message to get. The earliest you can recognize the stroke symptoms and get someone into the hospital, the absolute better.

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