Before 2018, emergency room doctors had only a six-hour window following the onset of stroke to treat acute paralysis. Due to an innovation in treatment delivery, comprehensive stroke centers now have up to 24 hours to effectively respond to these life-threatening situations.
“This is really a big step forward,” said Dr. Dileep Yavagal, chief of interventional neurology with the University of Miami Health System, “because it gives us four times the amount of time to … bring the patients to the right stroke center and open up the blocked artery in the brain.”
Stroke victims receive a CT Perfusion scan and sometimes an MRI. Patients showing significant undamaged brain tissue then undergo the thrombectomy procedure. Through a small hole in the groin, Dr. Yavagal uses advanced x-ray navigation to maneuver a catheter into the blocked artery in the brain. This enables neurologists to remove the clot and restore blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Yavagal added, “We want to make stroke like a bone fracture, where we basically are able to repair the stroke completely in all patients.”
Video summary compiled by Dana Kantrowitz, contributing writer for UMiamiHealth News.