Thursday, September 29, 2016

Speed and the right place - more important than ever

Sooner the treatment, better the outcome.

You've read this before here - time is critical in getting a stroke patient to a stroke center hospital. Every minute counts.

You've also read about recent research on new stroke treatment. Now, read about how the new treatment calls for getting to the right place quickly:
That’s the implication of a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that the sooner patients with severe strokes receive a thrombectomy, the less disabled they tend to be three months later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

'Heals the sorrows of their hearts'

He binds their wounds, heals the sorrows of their hearts.
What do these words mean to you?

To me, they are about not the physical suffering we face in this world, but the spiritual suffering that impacts us all, sooner or later.

We'll all leave this physical world, but we all have the opportunity for ultimate healing of our spiritual suffering.

Not temporarily but eternally.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Adding choices for possible stroke treatments

Last post, I included a link to my own story about the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator, better known as tPA.

Keep in mind, though, that my story is 18 years old. And still, tPA is the only approved drug to treat clot-caused strokes. I ran across an interesting story about the reason why the drug doesn't work every time, and what seems to be coming next:
Twenty years ago stroke doctors celebrated the arrival of a powerful new weapon: the clot-clearing drug tPA. It was hailed as a lifesaver and has proved to be one for hundreds of thousands of patients since. TPA was the first and is still the only medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating strokes caused by clots that block blood flow to the brain. But like so many medical marvels, tPA (which stands for tissue plasminogen activator) has turned out to have serious limitations.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What are your odds of the right stroke treatment?

You can read my story here and an update here. But in a nutshell, I wound up in the right place and the right time when my stroke occurred back in 1998, two years after tissue plasminogen activator was approved for stroke patients - a Southern community hospital, of all places.

More than 18 years later, we still have problems getting this medication to stroke patients. Kaiser Health News noted geographic and racial disparities in stroke treatment tracked in a new study:
The findings come from a report published Wednesday in the journal Neurology. Researchers found stroke patients living in the Northeast states had more than twice the odds of receiving tPA — a powerful anti-coagulant that can break up the clot causing the stroke — than those living in the Midwest and the South.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

From a stroke survivor - take high blood pressure seriously

High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes. So it should be taken very seriously. A stroke prevented is one life possibly saved or one person potentially not disabled. As a stroke survivor, I wouldn't wish a stroke on anyone.

So we need to better than this -  1 in 4 Medicare patients uses blood Pressure meds incorrectly:
An analysis of 18.5 million Medicare Part D enrollees in 2014 found that 26 percent either skipped doses of their blood pressure medication or stopped taking the drugs entirely, according to the study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Positive research development for those facing a weakened hand

Stroke is the most common reason for adult disability in the United States - thousands each year have weakened limbs.

One area of research is electrical stimulation, and some positive news recently highlighted that innovative electrical stimulation glove improves hand function:
According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers at the MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center have developed a therapy whereby patients can be in control of the stimulation to their weak hand.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Another tool for important tasks

I have a hammer. I also have an air compressor and a few nail guns.

So, which tool should I use to hang a picture on a wall?

On the other hand, I once had the need to place a piece of cedar siding around 24 feet above the ground. One hand held the siding, but using a hammer is a two-handed operation. Now which tool should I use?

So I see the importance of health professionals with more tools to do the important work of treating stroke patients. Check out the story on the FDA approving a clot-picker use with tPA:
Two Trevo clot retrieval devices were approved Friday by the FDA for use in conjunction with tPA thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke patients.