Strokes in our brains can be as devastating as a lightning strike.

Nearly 800,000 people have a stroke each year.   140,000 Americans are killed annually by strokes or about one out of twenty deaths.

Why do some people recover quickly without any noticeable side effects? One reason could be that some people have what is called a mini-stroke – a TIA (transient ischemic attack). It is ischemic because there was a clot that stopped the flow of blood to the brain. It is transient in that it was temporary. Stroke symptoms occur rapidly. They abate very quickly. It is a warning. Most people have no permanent injury from a TIA.

Two-thirds of all stroke victims never had a TIA. Those who have had a TIA typically will have a major stroke within a year. Our bodies have the ability to dissolve these clots, but it takes time. TIA should be considered a medical emergency.

Some people feel fine a few moments after the initial symptoms appeared. Don’t assume everything is OK. Something happened that caused those symptoms. Take action to find out what it was.
Stroke symptoms include numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg; awkwardness or trouble speaking or understanding, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, problems walking, dizziness, loss of balance, and severe headache. Note the time and duration of the stroke-like symptoms. Time is critical when addressing any type of stroke.

Most ischemic strokes can be reversed if dealt with in a timely manner. You can’t sit at home and wait until the next day to see your physician. Get to the hospital immediately. Let the professionals check you out.

What is more important is that you get to the best hospital for treating stroke victims. The right hospital can not only save your life but also your quality of life. Talk to your physician about intra-arterial recanalization procedures, and which hospitals in your local area are competent to perform these procedures.

There are two procedures that I would want my emergency room personnel knowledgeable of, and properly trained in:

● Intra-arterial thrombectomy
● Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)

Tissue plasminogen activator is generally the only treatment given at most emergency rooms. However, these two procedures used together can make a major difference in your survival, and the quality of your health, in the event of a stroke.

Some recent clinical studies revealed significant results for using both intra-arterial thrombectomy and tPA together. They are:

● In one study, within 4.5 hours of the initial symptoms of a stroke, 100 percent of those receiving both procedures showed brain reperfusion (blood flowing freely within the brain) compared to 37 percent receiving only the standard tPA procedure. The post-evaluation results showed 71 percent with functional independence in the two-procedure group compared to 40 percent in the single procedure tPA group.

● In another study, after 90 days, the death rate was nearly half in the two-procedure group compared to the single procedure tPA group – 10.4 percent to 19.0 percent.

● In an earlier study in 2015, 60.2 percent of stroke victims showed a good functional outcome in the two-procedure group compared to 35.5 percent receiving only the tPA procedure. The functional outcome is the loss of independence and related disabilities associated with a stroke.

These studies were reported in the September 2015 edition of Life Extension Magazine. This magazine is a great source of health and wellness information. It is available on-line for free. (Click here)

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