Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time is critical - for all concerned

This story has a powerful message - a story about what occurs when stroke symptoms are not addressed immediately. The story illustrates that with strokes, knowing the symptoms pays off:

By the time she arrived at a local Irvine, Calif., hospital, a CT scan revealed that a stroke had occurred six hours before, too late to receive a shot of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), the only prescription treatment to reduce the chance of disability from stroke. It must be injected within four and a half hours of stroke onset to be effective.

Strokes happen to people of all ages, and even mild ones can cause serious disabilities.These two often-overlooked facts underscore the importance for everyone to recognize stroke symptoms quickly and get prompt medical attention — ideally within 60 minutes — when stroke is suspected, experts said. ...

“It’s quite troubling to see so many people in their 30s and 40s in the prime of their lives, having strokes,” said Dr. Michael R. Frankel, an Emory University neurologist. Frankel is also director of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital.

“It’s not the way I was taught in medical school that stroke was a disease of the aged,” he said.

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