Physicians treating patients with acute ischemic stroke often have limited treatment options to offer, particularly for those patients who are past the three-hour time window of conventional treatment. This new endovascular device used by interventional radiologists can help restore brain blood flow for up to eight hours after the onset of stroke-like symptoms.
The Penumbra System™ is a package of tools used by neuro-interventional specialists to remove occlusions from the large vessels of the brain causing an acute ischemic stroke.
What is ischemic stroke?
Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Ischemic stroke can be caused by several different diseases but the most common is narrowing of the arteries in the neck or head. There are two main types of ischemic stroke, thrombotic embolic.
- A thrombotic stroke occurs when diseased or damaged cerebral arteries become blocked by the formation of a blood clot within the brain.
- An embolic stroke is also caused by a clot within an artery but the clot formed somewhere other than the brain.
How is the Penumbra system used?
With the Penumbra System, a specialist threads a catheter from the patient’s groin to the artery in the brain being blocked by a blood clot. The special tool suctions the clot from the vessel and out through the catheter.
The system has been described as being like a vacuum cleaner, suctioning out the blockage. Patient symptoms and negative outcomes are often alleviated.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 160,000 people die each year from stroke in the U.S. Strokes can occur at any age but nearly three-quarters occurred in people over the age of 65.
More East Texans die of stroke than our neighbors in other parts of the state. That’s why ETMC launched an effort to encourage East Texans to recognize the warning signs of stroke and to seek help if symtoms occur.
Know the risk factors
Some risk factors are unavoidable, such as being male, having diabetes, being over 55, having a family history of stroke, or being African-American. Other risk factors can be controlled:
- Cigarette smoking (doubles the risk)
- Being overweight or obese
- High cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
- Poor nutrition
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Know the symptoms
If you know what to watch for, you can help get appropriate care for someone who may be having a stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg—especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Facial drooping
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Know what to do
Call 911 immediately!
A stroke means there is a blood clot or bleeding in the brain. The sooner a person receives medical attention, the less brain damage will occur and the better the chance for recovery.
Know where to go
ETMC Tyler has met rigorous standards to become the region’s first certified stroke center. That means we have specialists on staff with extra training in the care and treatment of stroke. Emergency, stroke center and rehabilitation center professionals all work in concert to ensure the best outcomes for people who have strokes.