Fast treatment can aid in recovery from an ischemic stroke

Senator Mark Kirk

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk recently underwent surgery for an ischemic stroke, and his physicians report that a complete recovery isn’t likely.

A stroke can happen anytime, anywhere. The warning signs come on quickly:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body
  • Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye
  • Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech
  • Sudden severe headache with no apparent cause
  • Sudden episodes of unexplained dizziness or unsteadiness

Time is critical when it comes to stroke treatment. Rapid treatment can help reduce the symptoms and aid in a full recovery. If the FDA-approved drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is provided within three hours of the onset of symptoms, the patient has a better chance at recovery.

According to Dr. Colin Derdeyn, Director of the Stroke, Cerebral and Vascular Center at the Washington University Medical Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, described the procedure used on Kirk, a hemi-craniectomy, as a last-ditch procedure. To watch his interview on KSDK yesterday, go here.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a comprehensive primary stroke center which has treated many types of stroke using tPA and surgical procedures. To get a look at how we’ve streamlined our process of treating stroke patients, watch the video below:


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