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Healthy Colorado: new treatment for ischemic strokes at UCHealth

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Every minute counts when having a stroke. And now, UCHealth hospitals across Colorado have begun treating patients experiencing acute ischemic stroke with a medication that is faster and simpler to administer. Which are both key during a stroke.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type and are usually caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel into the brain.

The clot-busting medication Tenecteplase, also known as TNK is now being used in place of Alteplase, or tPA, which had been the standard for nearly three decades in treating strokes. Though both medications break up clots and restore blood flow in the brain, TNK is considerably easier to administer.

According to a press release from UCHealth, this medicine switch will require fewer steps, which leads to less opportunity for delays and errors.

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. They are also a major cause of long-term disability, with deficits ranging from the inability to recognize people to immobility and language impairment.

Medications to treat ischemic strokes must be given within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms. Unfortunately, too many patients are waiting too long to get help and are thus not eligible for such life-saving and disability-preventing medications, according to doctors.

It is critical to know the signs of stroke, as symptoms are often sudden and many doctors refer to time as the brain when one does happen.

Use the letters B.E. F.A.S.T to spot a stroke:

B = Balance/difficulty standing or walking

E = Sudden changes in eyesight, such as loss of vision or double vision

F = Facial drooping

A = Arm weakness

S = Speech difficulty

T = Time to call 911

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Brynn Carman

Brynn is an anchor on Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Brynn here.


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