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Emergency treatments for stroke

Time is brain! The potential to save brain cells depends on how soon treatment is received.

Ischemic stroke treatments 

Medications

If a stroke is identified immediately, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a clot-busting drug, can be administered. This dissolves the blood clot, restores blood flow and can reduce the risk of permanent damage. It must be given within four and a half hours of when the symptoms began. The sooner it is given, the better the outcome. 

Surgical treatments 

Severe strokes may require more invasive treatments. A skilled interventional neuroradiologist can use advanced imaging technology to determine the exact location of the blockage. The physician can then attempt to remove the clot from the blood vessel.

Hemorrhagic stroke treatments 

Intercerebral hemorrhage

Treatment is focused on reducing bleeding and lowering the blood pressure. Surgically removing the blood and damaged tissue from the brain may be necessary in some cases. 

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Treatment is focused on sealing the aneurysm — often through surgery —  to prevent further bleeding, lowering the blood pressure and preventing other complications.