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Treatment of Stroke

Stroke treatment varies with each person. The type of treatment depends on the cause of the stroke. At Roane Medical Center, our physicians and radiologists work together to determine the best course of treatment for each individual.

If you have had an ischemic stroke, or a stroke caused by a blood clot, you may be a candidate to receive drug treatments, such as tissue plasminogen activator or tPA (alteplase). This medication helps dissolve the clot blocking the blood vessel following a stroke and improves the blood flow, thus minimizing potential disabilities. This treatment has been shown to be the most effective once an ischemic stroke has started. However, there are time limits on when this drug should be given and it depends on how long it has been since the signs and symptoms of a stroke first started. This drug should be given within the first three to four hours following the onset of stroke symptoms.

Even for patients who are outside the time limit to receive drug treatments, there are other available treatments if it can be initiated within the first 12 to 24 hours after a stroke. Some ischemic strokes can be treated with mechanical devices that can actually go in and remove or break up the blood clot causing the stroke. While we do not offer this treatment at RMC, we are fortunate to be part of the Covenant health system that has a Comprehensive stroke center at FSRMC. Physicians at RMC can discuss each person who comes in with stroke symptoms with physicians at FSRMC to see what the best treatment is based on the situation.

A hemorrhagic stroke is a stroke that is caused by bleeding into the brain tissue. The main goal for treatment is to determine the cause of the bleeding and minimize damage. Sometimes there are procedures or surgery that can help to stop the bleeding and save brain tissue. Our physicians at RMC can work with our Comprehensive Stroke Center at FSRMC to discuss options and see what is the best treatment based on the situation.

Many people miss the window of opportunity to receive treatment that can minimize the effects of a stroke because they don’t arrive at the hospital in time. Early recognition and treatment as soon as possible are key factors in getting the best possible chance for better outcomes and full recovery.

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