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Breakthrough treatment improves chances for stroke patients at Norton Healthcare

New device recently approved by FDA allows doctors to more quickly, safely remove blood clots

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 7, 2012)  — New technology that is currently being used at Norton Brownsboro Hospital is making it faster, safer and easier to remove blood costs in patients who have had a serious stroke. The Solitaire Flow Restoration (FR) Revascularization Device, also known as the Solitaire stent, is now being used by Norton Neuroscience Institute doctors, just months after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“As with any patient who has had a stroke, the faster you get rid of the blood clot, the more likely the patient is to not only survive, but continue to function normally,” said Dr. Tom Yao, an Endovascular and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon with Norton Neuroscience Institute. “This new Solitaire device is definitely a breakthrough in how quickly we can treat a patient who comes to the emergency room with signs of a stroke.”

The Solitaire stent is used to treat the most common of strokes, the ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Previously, doctors have administered patients a drug, a cork-screw shaped device or a vacuum-like device to dissolve, remove or suck the clot from the affected artery. The Solitaire stent is another effective treatment option for patients. “The exact treatment still depends on many factors, including the nature of the stroke and the time lapsed from the time of the stroke,” explained Yao. “Again, depending on the situation, studies have shown better outcomes with this new Solitaire device.”

The FDA study randomly assigned 113 stroke patients at 18 hospitals to a procedure to restore blood flow to the brain with either the Solitaire FR device or the device that had been used previously, the Merci Retriever device, within eight hours of stroke onset. According to the study, the Solitaire FR device showed a 2.5 times greater benefit in restoring blood flow to the brain.  The study also points out that the Solitaire device offered a 55 percent reduction in mortality at 90 days and was more effective in restoring patient functionality following a stroke.

According to the National Stroke Association, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the country and the leading cause of adult disability. On average, a stroke occurs about every 45 seconds.

For more information about how to understand the warning signs of stroke, visit www.nortonhealthcare.com/stroke.