Thursday, June 11, 2009

Window widens - but still, don't wait

Treating stroke patients with the powerful clot-buster tPA has a wider window:
Last year, European clinical trials found that selected patients still benefit from tPA up to 4 1/2 hours after a stroke.

Now, an advisory from the American Heart Association formally spells out which patients might benefit from later tPA treatment. But the chairman of the committee that issued the advisory -- Gregory J. del Zoppo, MD, professor of medicine and adjunct professor of neurology at University of Washington, Seattle -- warns patients not to misinterpret the statement.

"The message is that stroke patients still need to come in for treatment as soon as possible. There is no benefit in waiting," del Zoppo tells WebMD. "Despite the fact that patients who come in even 3 to 4 1/2 hours after stroke can benefit, they should not wait."
Good words - "should not wait." As someone who was able to receive help right away, I can attest: Even if you think you or someone is showing stroke signs or symptoms, even for the mini-stroke variety, listen to what the doctor said, and don't wait.

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