Endovascular stroke treatment saves more lives in the Valley

Endovascular stroke treatment saves more lives in the Valley
News Center 23

POSTED: Friday, November 1, 2013 - 4:37pm

UPDATED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 4:12pm

"A stroke is a blood clot in the brain that causes either face weakness, arm or leg weakness, speech disturbance, and basically we want patients to be aware of these signs and call 9-11 immediately," said endovascular neurologist, Dr. Ameer Hassan.

Even though the RGV has one of the highest rates of stroke in the country, Valley Baptist Medical Center is the only hospital in the Valley that treats patients using endovascular stroke coverage.

The biplane lab at Valley Baptist has two cameras, which allow doctors to see the brain more clearly to better treat stroke patients.

"So with this advanced imaging, we basically can treat more patients," said Hassan. "And if we look at the data since we've been here, we've treated almost thirty percent of our patients."

...which is a whopping ten times as many patients as Valley Baptist was able to treat before.

Following much research on Valley patients, Dr. Hassan has discovered that the endovascular treatments are significantly more efficient that the IV treatment, which is the norm for most hospitals:

"Before we were only using IVTPA and now with this advanced imaging and the biplane angio suite we're allowed to either take our catheters up and either pull clots or suck clots out," said Dr. Hassan.

But this new technique is not the only thing that's improving the health of stroke patients. Most patients make the mistake of waiting several hours before taking any action to cure their stroke, now that time frame can be slightly increased.

"The biggest deal with imaging, especially advanced imaging is that it opens up a time window," said Dr. Hassan. "Traditionally, you can only treat IVTPA within three hours, that's the FDA approval. With advanced imaging, you can go up to eight hours, what we're looking for is salvageable tissue. It also helps patients who are wakeup strokes or unknown onset."

Reporting in Harlingen, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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