Friday, February 22, 2008

First 3 hours after stroke crucial

First 3 hours after stroke crucial

WASHINGTON: A new study has found that the first three hours at the start of a stroke are crucial for the treatment of the victim.

The study found that rhe damage caused by stroke can be reduced by giving tPA treatment, the only approved treatment for stroke caused by blood clots in the brain, to the patient. If given intravenously within the first three hours of the start of a stroke, or injected directly into the brain within six hours, tPA can break up clots and stop or slow the damage caused by strokes. The analysis showed that delay kept many patients away from receiving tPA.

"Efforts to speed up patients’ arrival at the hospital are absolutely crucial. We have very effective treatments; we just need to get patients to the hospital as fast as possible," said Lewis Morgenstern, professor of neurology, emergency medicine and neurosurgery at the U-M Medical School. Morgenstern added a person experiencing a stroke really needed to get to a hospital within two hours of the start of a stroke to have the best chance of receiving tPA.

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