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How is ischemic stroke treated?

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About 90% of strokes are this type. It happens when a clot cuts off blood flow to your brain. Your doctor may put a clot-busting drug called tPA in your arm. You should get it within 3 hours of the stroke. In some situations, you can get it 4.5 hours later. You'll probably have it while you're still in the ER.

If you can't have tPA, which is a powerful drug and can cause bleeding, you might take aspirin or another medicine to thin your blood or keep clots from getting bigger.

Another option is to remove the clot after you arrive at the hospital. Your doctor will thread a device called a stent up the artery to grab the clot, or take it out with a suction tube. They also can use a tiny, flexible tube called a catheter to send drugs up to your brain and directly to the clot.

SOURCES:

National Stroke Association: "What is Stroke?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is a Stroke Treated?" "How is a Stroke Diagnosed?"

CDC: "Stroke Signs and Symptoms."

American Stroke Association: "TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)," "Let's Talk About Stroke Diagnosis," "Ischemic Strokes (Clots)," "Hemorrhagic Strokes (Bleeds)," "Quick Stroke Treatment for Saving the Brain," "Blood Pressure and Stroke."

National Institutes of Health: "NIH Stroke Scale."

National Institute on Aging: "About Stroke."

Mayo Clinic: "Stroke."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 14, 2018

SOURCES:

National Stroke Association: "What is Stroke?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is a Stroke Treated?" "How is a Stroke Diagnosed?"

CDC: "Stroke Signs and Symptoms."

American Stroke Association: "TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)," "Let's Talk About Stroke Diagnosis," "Ischemic Strokes (Clots)," "Hemorrhagic Strokes (Bleeds)," "Quick Stroke Treatment for Saving the Brain," "Blood Pressure and Stroke."

National Institutes of Health: "NIH Stroke Scale."

National Institute on Aging: "About Stroke."

Mayo Clinic: "Stroke."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 14, 2018

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