Stroke is the leading cause of disability. Each year, 795,000 people have a stroke, or one every 40 seconds. But did you know that if a stroke is recognized and treated early, its effects can potentially be minimized? Because symptoms of stroke can be vague or very pronounced, people don't always seek medical attention immediately after symptoms start. View the Stroke Scorecard to evaluate your risk of a stroke, and be sure to seek medical attention if you experience any stroke symptoms.
Treatment options for patients suffering a stroke depend upon the patient, medical history, time of onset, and the type of stroke. Eighty-five percent of all strokes are Ischemic (blood vessel occlusion), while fifteen percent are hemorrhagic (blood vessel bursts). Patients that present within four-and-a-half hours from when symptoms started may be eligible for a “clot busting” medication called Activase, or tPA, if they are having an Ischemic stroke. However, this medication cannot be used on everyone. Due to the clot busting action of the medication, certain patients cannot receive it because the risk of bleeding may outweigh the benefit of the drug.
Endovascular treatment is an option that involves a specially trained physician accessing the femoral artery and directly working on the clot that is suppressing blood flow. Catheters may be used to aspirate or “suck out” the clot, or a special device called a “stent retriever” can be used to pull the clot from the vessel. Studies show that patients who received this type of treatment had better outcomes following their stroke. Disability can be reduced by using this new treatment, but patients still need to come to the hospital in a timely fashion.
Stroke Support Group
Trinity Health hosts a Stroke Support Group the third Wednesday of every month at Health Center-Riverside Auditorium, 1900 8th Avenue Southeast, Minot. The group is free and open to stroke survivors and/or their caregivers. For more information, call (701) 857-2449.