Time is of the essence when it comes to treating a stroke. However, scientists have discovered that physicians may have more time to treat a stroke than previously thought. Doctors can remove clots from the brain and prevent serious damage if they treat the stroke within 16 to 24 hours.
A study author stated that the findings will change the way that strokes are diagnosed and treated. The type of treatment that one receives will depend on when they first started to experience the symptoms. People who collapse in their homes or have a stroke in their sleep are more likely to die.
Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Eighty-five percent of stroke cases are due to blockages in the arteries that lead to the brain. The rest of strokes are caused by tears in the brain. A tear can cause blood to build up inside of the brain.
More people will eligible for clot removal because of the change in guidelines. The American Heart Association changed the guidelines after looking at brain CT scans of patients. Dr. William J. Powers stated that patients who have clot removal surgery will be able to reduce their risk of being disabled after a stroke.
Dr. Walter Koroshetz is the director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He stated that only 30 percent of patients who have a stroke are able to recover completely. He believes that the results of the study will help many people avoid becoming permanently disabled from a stroke.
Forty-six year-old Cynthia Todd knows how important it is to treat a stroke early. Her husband rushed her to the hospital after she experienced stroke symptoms, but doctors told her it was too late to receive conventional treatment. She was transferred to another hospital. She received surgery shortly after arriving at the hospital and was able to leave seven days later. She says that the only reason she is alive today is because of the life-saving surgery.