Monday, February 20, 2006

tPA for CVA

From Forbes:

"The number of acute stroke victims who are given tPA is very low -- 94 to 97 percent of stroke patients do not get the drug," said Smith, associate director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General.

Approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke every year, and it is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Its incidence rises sharply with age, from approximately 3 percent of those aged 55 to 64, to 6 percent of those between 65 to 74, to 12 percent of those over 75.

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a very effective clot-busting drug that can result in a dramatic reversal of stroke symptoms. It's approved for use in certain patients having a heart attack or stroke, and works by dissolving blood clots, which cause most heart attacks and strokes. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating strokes almost 10 years ago, but is still not given to most stroke victims who could benefit from it.


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