tPA and Stroke Treatment

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

When a stroke occurs, quick treatment can save lives. Dr. Edward Hill discusses stroke treatment in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

If youre having a stroke, its critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and prevent death.

There are two types of strokes: hemorrhagic or ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and spills blood into brain tissue. Treatment differs depending on the type of stroke.

The only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes is tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. tPA works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. If administered within three hours, and up to four-and-a-half hours in certain eligible patients, tPA may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke.

A significant number of stroke victims dont get to the hospital in time for tPA treatment; this is why its so important to identify a stroke immediately.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.