Health Encyclopedia


Health Encyclopedia Home

Every Minute Matters With Clot-Busting Stroke Drug: Study

Every Minute Matters With Clot-Busting Stroke Drug: Study

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Every 15-minute delay in receiving a clot-busting drug means stroke survivors will have about one month less of a disability-free life, while every minute sooner that they receive the drug translates into more than one extra day of healthy life.

That's the finding of a study that examined the use of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in treating ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain.

Guidelines say the drug should be given within four and a half hours after stroke symptoms begin, but this study shows that the earlier patients receive the drug within that window, the better.

Researchers applied the findings from major clot-busting drug trials to more than 2,200 stroke survivors in Australia and Finland to determine what their outcomes would have been, depending on when they were given tPA.

For every minute earlier that they received the drug, patients gained an average of nearly two more days of healthy life. Faster treatment helped all patients, but younger ones seemed to get slightly more benefit than older ones, according to the study, which was published in the March 13 issue of the journal Stroke.

"'Save a minute, save a day' is the message from our study, which examined how even small reductions in treatment delays might benefit patients measurably in the long run," study author Dr. Atte Meretoja, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Melbourne, in Australia, said in a journal news release.

People who develop stroke symptoms, such as arm weakness, speech problems or face droop, should call for help immediately, the researchers said.

"Clot-busting treatment works equally well, irrespective of race, ethnicity or gender," Meretoja said. "Speedy restoration of blood flow to the brain is crucial for brain cell survival everywhere."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about stroke.

SOURCE: Stroke, news release, March 13, 2014

Related Items
Content Type 167
  Antithrombin (Activity and Antigen)
Daily News Feed
  Drug for Pulmonary Hypertension Shows 'Modest' Benefit in Studies
  Rheumatoid Arthritis Increases Potential for Blood Clots, Study Suggests
  Stroke Rates Dropped Over Decade, Study in Texas Finds
  Hospitals Increasingly Give Powerful Clot-Buster for Stroke
  Ultra-Early Treatment Reduces Disability After Stroke: Study
  Medical Harm Occurs in Nearly 43 Million Hospital Cases Each Year
  Blood Thinner Dangerous for Patients With Artificial Heart Valves, Study Finds
  Health Tip: When Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes Symptoms
  Non-Delivery Hospital Stay May Raise Clot Risk During Pregnancy
  Lengthy Car, Plane Rides Pose Risk of Clots
  Antidote Might Reverse Complication From Blood Thinner Pradaxa
  Hospitalization Rates Soar for Irregular Heartbeat, Study Finds
  Studies Suggest Better Approaches to Staying Clot-Free
  Study Raises Concerns Over Safety of Implanted Heart Pump
  Keeping Healthy During Holiday Travel
  Early Promise for a Blood Thinner Without the Bleeding Risk
  Few Americans Get Recommended Emergency Stroke Care
  Stroke Risk May Persist Longer Than Thought After Childbirth
  Early Clot-Busting Treatment Helps Most Stroke Patients: Study
  Blood Thinners Now Recommended for People With Irregular Heartbeat
  Rare, But Serious, Side Effect Reported With One MS Drug
  Aspirin May Not Protect Heart After Non-Cardiac Surgeries: Study
  Taking Blood Thinners With Certain Painkillers May Raise Bleeding Risk
  Research Shows Ways to Speed Stroke Care
  FDA Approves New Type of Anti-Clotting Drug
  Zontivity Approved For People at High-Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
  Migraines Linked to Increased Risk of 'Silent Strokes'
  Urine Test May Help Spot Dangerous Blood Clots
  Pros, Cons to Dissolving Lung Clots: Study
  Cervical Cancer Vaccine Doesn't Boost Clot Risk: Study
  Blood Thinners May Not Be Needed for Kids' Back Surgery
  Scientists Discover New Way to Make Human Platelets
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Bleeding / Clotting Disorders