Medical Minute: Better Care for Strokes

Out fishing and working as a bartender, Patricia Neuhaus even just got her high school diploma.

Patricia Neuhaus, a stroke patient, says, “I quit school when I was 16, and it was always something I wanted to do, so I just did it.”

But it all came to a halt after a breast cancer diagnosis. She had a mastectomy and decided to stay the night at the hospital.

“Thank God I did, because I had a stroke 12 hours after the surgery.”

TPA is a common treatment for stroke patients, but Patricia was not a candidate because she had just had surgery, and it puts you at risk for bleeding.

Since she couldn’t get TPA through an IV, Dr. Kirk Conrad used a new technique, Intra-Arterial TPS.

Dr. Kirk Conrad, a neurointerventional radiologist, says, “The TPA is injected directly into the clot itself at a much higher concentration than would be attainable by giving it through a vein in the arm.”

Typically, TPA can only be given within three hours after a stroke, but this technique can extend that window up to 10 hours.

“Patients that otherwise would not be able to be treated can be treated now.”

And it’s a treatment that is now more widely available. Patricia knows it made a difference for her, but she also credits her sister who has passed away.

“It seemed like somebody was on my side pulling for me. I believe in miracles, and I think she did it.”

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