Stroke and the Embotrap III Device
Stroke affects approximately than 800,000 people each year and can happen without warning. Stroke or “brain attack” is the fifth leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.
Stroke occurs when blood vessels that supply blood to the brain are blocked by a blood clot and within minutes, brain cells begin to die or become damaged. As a result, a part of the body that is controlled by the damaged section looses its function.
Symptoms of a stroke may include:
- Numbness or lack of movement in the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body.
- Visual impairment in one or both eyes or double vision
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Sudden or severe headache
There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
- Ischemic stroke is caused by a reduction of blood flow to the brain. This is caused by a narrowing or blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain or when the blood flow is reduced due to an underlying health condition.
- Hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks or busts and causes bleeding inside the brain tissue or anywhere near the surface of the brain.
“Once a stroke occurs, act fast and call 911 as soon as possible,” says Ashkan Mowla MD, vascular and interventional neurologist at PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital and assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Southern California. “Once the patient reaches the emergency room, we will take a head CT scan so we can see the type of stroke and provide the patient the right treatment.”
A patient with acute ischemic stroke can be treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator or IV t-PA, a clot-dissolving medicine, within 4.5 hours of stroke symptom onset. Research studies have shown that patients with ischemic stroke have a better chance of recovery from this type of stroke if they receive rapid treatment. The other treatment option for acute ischemic stroke is through the blood vessel. The physician will perform thrombectomy, a procedure to remove the blood clot using catheters (thin tubes visible under X-rays), wires and stent retrievers that are inserted into the blood vessel from the groin or the arm. Stent retrievers are devices that help remove the blood clot and lead to more effective re-opening of the blocked vessel.
Dr. Mowla, Pradeep Selvan MD and the team at PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital used a new generation of the stent retrievers called Embotrap® III Revascularization Device for the first time in the United States in August 2020 to remove a life-threatening blood clot (or thrombus) from the brain vessel of a patient with acute stroke.
“We were able to remove the blood clot quickly and efficiently with a single pull which gives the patient a better chance for recovery,” said Dr. Mowla.