Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Improving Care for Stroke Patients


May is Stroke Awareness Month, and now, thanks to new research, better treatment options can be provided to patients suffering from a stroke. 

“We have some cutting edge data that has come out recently that says we can treat patients for up to 24 hours from the last time they were seen doing well, or from symptom onset,” noted Dr. Melanie Winningham with Sentara Martha Jefferson Neurosciences.  “It’s a big deal because before now our treatment window was only up to six hours.” 

Thanks to the new data, doctors are able to treat even more patients suffering from a stroke with endovascular therapies.  Instead of just being able to give clot busting medicine known as tPA, doctors can now go in and remove blood clots up to 24 hours after patients have symptoms. 

“This gives us an opportunity to help many more patients who are suffering from severe strokes,” said Dr. Winningham. 

Despite the added treatment window, doctors note it’s still important to remember to act FAST and call 911 if someone is experiencing any symptoms. 

“FAST helps us to look for the big signs of stroke, so facial droop, trouble speaking, trouble with weakness on one side, and the T is a reminder to act quickly and call 911,” noted Dr. Winningham. 

Dr. Winningham says there are a few additional signs that also shouldn’t be ignored. 

“Other signs are severe dizziness, clumsiness on one side, double vision, loss of vision.” 

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Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

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