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Highlights from the International Stroke Conference

Clotting risk after pregnancy, driving after a stroke and more from the San Diego meeting

11:12am, February 19, 2014

Special ambulance for stroke patients

An ambulance crew that includes a neurologist and a portable CT scanner can limit the damage wrought by a stroke while en route to the hospital, researchers reported February 13.

The specially equipped team can distinguish those stroke patients who would benefit from a clot-dissolving injection of tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA – the first-choice drug for strokes caused by blood clots in the brain. The CT scanner distinguishes whether a blood clot is the cause. Some strokes result from bleeding in the brain, and giving tPA to such patients risks catastrophe.

Stroke treatment is time-sensitive. Giving tPA within 4.5 hours of a clot-based stroke can provide dramatic benefits by dissolving the clot and restoring blood flow.

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