According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke claims the lives of over 130,000 Americans every year and is the leading cause of disability among adults. Though 80% of strokes can be prevented with regular exercise and a healthy diet, this information isn’t helpful when you’re suffering a stroke. The following stroke treatments from Northside Hospital can increase your chances of surviving a stroke and making a full recovery.
Tissue Plasminogen Activator
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot; and hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only ischemic stroke treatment that is approved by the FDA. If administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms, tPA can successfully dissolve a clot and restore normal blood flow to the brain. Some patients can still receive tPA if they arrive at the hospital up to 4.5 hours after symptoms arise.
Another option is an endovascular treatment, during which a doctor physically removes a clot by sending a catheter into the blocked blood vessel. Not all patients are eligible for this procedure, and must be properly evaluated before treatment. An endovascular procedure can also treat a hemorrhagic stroke by depositing a mechanical agent into a ruptured blood vessel.
Hemorrhagic strokes only account for about 13% of all strokes, but they can be more difficult to treat. In some cases, it may be necessary to stop the bleeding through surgery. One way to stop the bleeding is to place a special metal device onto the base of an aneurysm. After a stroke has been successfully treated, rehabilitation and lifestyle changes can help the patient recover and avoid strokes in the future.
If a loved one exhibits classic stroke symptoms, don’t hesitate to call 911. If you have any general questions about stroke, call the Northside Hospital Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 598-9586. Our St. Petersburg hospital strives to provide outstanding emergency stroke care for our neighbors.