Permanent damage of stroke prevented by ‘vacuuming’ blood clots

15Apr11

Click here to view interactive graphic.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or becomes blocked by blood clot. Vital tissues that are fed via blood vessels are starved, causing the patient to lose cognitive and motor function. A new method — known as the Penumbra System of Continuous Aspiration Thrombectomy — is being used to bust up and remove clots before they cause permanents damage.

The clot retrieval procedure is targeted for ischemic strokes, which involve blood clots in the brain. Ischemic strokes make up about 80% of all strokes.

The Penumbra System ‘vacuums’ clots out of blood vessels in the brain. If administered within a few hours of a stroke, it can restore blood flow to the brain and possibly reverse the effects of the stroke, therefore preventing any permanent damage to the patient.

Some patients who have undergone this procedure have spoken glowingly of its effectiveness and the resulting quick post-stroke recovery, according to Gizmag, a publication on new and emerging technologies, invention, innovation and science news.

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INFOGRAPHIC: RE-ENGINEERING A HEART AFFLICTED WITH LEFT HEART SYNDROME

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One patient is reported to have started walking again just four days after the stroke — andwas back to work, back to a running routine and was allowed by his doctor to drive a car just two months after the procedure.

This post-stroke revasculatization technique had been tested in clinical trials in the United States starting 2006, and has since been approved. It has been commercially available in Europe starting 2007.

Interactive graphic by Alfred Elicierto, art by David Arbanas. A related story on the Penumbra System was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on March 2, 2008.

Sources: Jim Feenstra, Penumbra Inc.; American Stroke Association

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Also in this blog
Turning back the Asian carp
Chemotherapy’s effects on the brain
Treating gunshot wounds
Artificial organs and body parts
Superheated vapour from the core of the Earth

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