For ischemic stroke, the goal is to remove the blockage and restore the blood flow to the affected area. The Stroke Team at Community Health Network has established a care standard that is used at all five Community hospitals. The FDA-approved clot-busting drug tPA is administered within a three-hour window from the onset of stroke symptoms.
It is critical to recognize stroke signs and symptoms to increase the timeliness and use of clot-busting medications with success in reducing stroke damage.
Other preventive measures include anticoagulants/antiplatelets such as aspirin; endarterectomy, a surgical procedure where the blood vessel blockage is removed from the carotid artery; and angioplasty/stents. The stents are implantable steel screens used to reduce fatty build-up clogging the vessels.
Surgical intervention is often recommended for hemorrhagic strokes. A metal clip is placed around the aneurysm, or the abnormal vessels making up an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) are removed. A less invasive, endovascular procedure is also an option. This involves the insertion of a catheter in a major artery in the leg or arm and tracking it to the aneurysm or AVM, where a coil is inserted to prevent a rupture.