An Acute Ischemic Stroke results when blood flow to the brain is reduced by a blockage in an artery in the brain. This is analogous to a heart attack that results from blockage of blood flow to the heart.
Know the Stroke Symptoms: Every Second Counts
The quicker the blockage is removed and blood flow restored the better chance a patient has to recover from the stroke. When it comes to the recognizing a stroke, remember to act F.A.S.T.
Face = facial droop; uneven smile
Arm = numbness in the arm; arm weakness
Speech = slurred speech; difficulty speaking or understanding
Time = If you experience the above symptoms, call 911 and get to the hospital immediately; have the ambulance go to the nearest stroke center.
Watch Westchester Medical Center's Stroke Education video
The quicker the blockage is removed and blood flow restored the better chance a patient has to recover from the stroke. In many patients, if they are diagnosed with an ischemic stroke quickly, intravenous medications (TPA) can be administered to try to open the blood vessels in the brain.
However, in some patients they are either diagnosed too late, are not able to receive the intravenous medications, or the intravenous medications do not work. Under these circumstances, a patient may be eligible for Endovascular treatment.
Endovascular or Intra-arterial stroke treatment uses drugs and/or devices to open blocked blood vessels in the brain.
This treatment is analogous to patients having a heart attack that undergo angioplasty to quickly open the blocked blood vessel to the heart. The longer a blood vessel to the brain is blocked and blood flow reduced, the more devastating a stroke can be.
Data shows that the quicker blood flow to the brain is restored, the better a patient's chances are for recovery, i.e. "Time is Brain".