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SSM Health Medical Minute: New study gives physicians more time to treat strokes

When someone is having a stroke, every second counts. There is a three-hour window between the onset of symptoms where physicians can provide a drug called tPA to bust the clot in the brain. A study released this week says interventional procedures outside that window may be beneficial.

SSM Health De Paul Hospital in Bridgeton has been pioneering a new stroke treatment for seven years and now it’s being recommended as a new nationwide guideline. Surgically removing a stroke causing blood clot in the brain may be better than using a clot busting drug which has to be given within four and half hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.

Dr. Charles Callison, neurointerventionist at SSM Health DePaul Hospital, says, “in people with really large strokes where a very large blood vessel of the brain is blocked off, we can surgically go in there with catheters and wires the same way they do in the heart to open up that blood vessel and improve blood flow to the brain. This offers those patients with very large blood vessels occlusions for us to actually go in there and open up those blood vessels and help those patients at a longer time range.” This time range, Dr. Callison says, remains to be seen, but could be up to 24 hours.

Time is still the most critical piece in treating stroke.

To find out more about stroke treatment, click here.