Study: Stroke patients treated quicker show reduced symptoms - Fox 2 News Headlines

Study: Stroke patients treated quicker show reduced symptoms

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(WJBK) - When someone has a stroke, every second counts. Now, a new study looks at the difference every minute makes.

"Every minute that a blood vessel to the brain is blocked, there can be as many as two million brain cells that are dying," says Dr. Gregg Fonaro of the University of California, Los Angeles. That's why quickly getting a stroke patient tPA, a clot busting medication, is so important.

When given within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital, the medication can help dissolve the clot, restore blood flow to the brain and leave patients with less disability.       

However, less than a third of stroke patients in the U.S. were getting tPA within the 60 minute time window.

An American Heart Association initiative set out to change that. The initiative rolled out in 2010 and included key strategies to speed treatment for stroke patients. Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds the initiative is working; more patients are getting the tPA within 60 minutes.
"There was a reduction in mortality; more patients were able to be discharged home; more patients were able to walk on their own; and, importantly, a potential complication that can develop, bleeding into the brain, that was also reduced," says Fonarow.

LINK: Know the warning signs of a stroke
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