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Some Stroke Patients May Have an Extended Chance at Thrombectomy

Posted Monday, February 25, 2019 by Morgan Cartwright

A stroke occurs when a patient has had restricted blood flow (normally due to a blood clot) to the brain and the neurons in the brain start dying. A thrombectomy is a surgical procedure in which a doctor removes a blood clot from a blood vessel/artery. Thereafter, the blood flow is restored to the brain and hopefully minimizes significant brain injury.

Over the past few decades, a number of clinical trials have tested the time frame in which a thrombectomy can be performed after the stroke started. It used to be that there were only a few hours into a stroke in which you could perform a thrombectomy that would result in any benefit to the patient. However, recent clinical trials, DAWN (24 hr range) and DEFUSE 3 (6-16hr range), have shown a possible benefit for thrombectomy of up to 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Unfortunately, the extended time frames are only available to a small percentage of patient groups depending on the area of the blood clot and the patient’s anatomy. So for now, it’s imperative that all stroke patients are identified for potential thrombectomy as soon as possible to avoid tragic outcomes.

The Window of Opportunity Widens: Thrombectomy’s Practice-Changing Implications in Stroke

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