This week I bring you a look at a new stroke treatment that could change the way we help people with the emergency condition. Strokes happen when something blocks the flow of blood to a portion of the brain. This is usually caused by a blood clot, about 85% of the time.
When this type of stroke, called an ischemic stroke, occurs the typical treatment is to rush the patient to the emergency department and get them special drugs called clot busters administered. This has to be accomplished within the first few hours after the stroke to have an effect.
But what if we could do something to deal with that stroke even faster? That is what the folks at Vesselon have decided to do. They are proposing that ambulance crews, EMTs and paramedics, use their special ultrasound device to target likely spots in the brain where most stroke occur. Then the paramedic administers special IV fluids containing micro bubbles to the patient. When these micro bubbles reach the location of a clot and are stimulated by the special ultrasound waves, they act like the scrubbing bubbles in that bathroom cleaner commercial and break down the clot.
This treatment is minimally invasive, has few or no side effects and could be the difference between a long healthy life or prolonged disability and even death. This experimental treatment is in the development stages now but could be started with clinical trials soon in Toronto, Canada to determine the effectiveness in treatment by real field crews. Stay tuned because I’ll be following this technology closely since it represents one of the most exciting advances in stroke treatment in recent years.
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