New Treatment Improves the Prognosis for Victims of Severe Strokes
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the time limit for removing blood clots from the brain to help save lives and reduce the risk of disability can be as much as 16 hours after the start of stroke symptoms rather than six hours, which was previously the limit.
The study included 182 patients in 38 hospitals located in the United States. The researchers actually stopped the study early because they found that the patients who had the clots removed were fairing far better than those who did not have a clot removal. The findings in the study will not apply to all stroke victims, however. The researchers in the study utilized a special type of brain imaging to determine which patients would qualify for the treatment. They found that close to half the patients would qualify for the thrombectomy.
Ninety days after the treatment was completed, 45% of the patients in the study were considered to be functionally independent. Only 17% of the patients who did not have the procedure were considered functionally independent. The rate of death was 14% for those who underwent the thrombectomy, while it was 26% for those who did not receive the treatment.