Diseases & Conditions

Innovative New Device at Einstein Helps Beat the Clock—and Stroke

By on 08/24/2015
Paul Brady, MD

Paul Brady, MD

The next generation of treatment for stroke is now in use at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery—fulfilling the hospital’s promise to bring advanced medicine to the area.

Paul Brady, MD, and other interventional radiologists are now using a stent retriever to remove clots that block blood flow to the brain—a procedure that often proves more effective than the injection of the clot-dissolving medication tPA (tissue plasminogen activator.)

The stent retriever is inside a soft catheter which is threaded through a vein to the site of the blockage.

The mesh-like stent is deployed to surround the clot and retract it back into the catheter, which is then removed—allowing blood to flow back into the brain.

Studies showed that patients treated with both tPA and the stent retriever were more likely to recover and regain independence than with tPA alone. Time is a factor in both therapies—to prevent severe brain damage, they must be used within hours of a stroke, although the stent retriever has more time leeway.

It’s urgent to understand the signs of a stroke and to seek treatment as soon as possible:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

F.A.S.T. is a helpful way to recognize and remember the sudden signs of stroke:

FACE DROOPING: is someone’s smile uneven, or is one side drooping?

ARM WEAKNESS: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms to see if one drifts downward.

SPEECH DIFFICULTY: Is speech slurred? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.

TIME to call 9-1-1. If anyone displays these symptoms, get them to the hospital immediately, even if the symptoms go away.

Some 700,000 Americans have strokes due to blood clots every year. Einstein Montgomery quickly adapted to five published multi-center research trials that have proven the effectiveness of the stent retrieval system.

Dr. Brady, who also does the procedure at Einstein Philadelphia, is the only physician in the region who is dual-fellowship trained in neurosurgery and interventional radiology, making him uniquely qualified to perform the procedure.

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