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The War on Strokes

February 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 331

The most common type of stroke is caused by a blood clot within one of the major arteries leading to the brain. About 87 percent of all strokes are caused by a blood clot. Having a clot can devastate your health. Blood clots are hard to detect before they happen, and thus there is not a lot of chances to prevent a stroke from happening. Luckily, there is a new device out in the medical community that performs better at removing blood clots than older devices could. Called the Solitaire, this blood flow restoration device performs a bit differently than the Merci, the older model blood clot removal device, did. Rather than using a tiny corkscrew led by a balloon tipped wire to snare the clot and then pull it out of the blocked blood vessel, the Solitaire uses a self expanding stent to go into the blood vessel. Once the clot is located, the Solitaire traps the clot and then the device and the clot are removed together, clearing the artery and hopefully restoring complete blood flow back to the brain.

Medical trials conducted with the new Solitaire device ended up being ceased earlier than originally intended because of the fact that the device worked so much better than the other device. The Merci's clot removal method was deemed to be unsafe in comparison to the Solitaire. 61 percent of the folks undergoing trials with the new Solitaire device had their arterial passages completely unblocked without causing any symptomatic intracranial hemorrhaging. Compare this to the Merci's rate of 24 percent. The trials had to end once these results gained statistical significance simply because the Solitaire was more than twice as effective when it came to producing positive results. The Solitaire also increased stroke survival rates up to three months after the original stroke. The new Solitaire device had a mortality rate of about 17 percent three months after stroke, while the Merci had a mortality rate of over 38 percent.

This new device promises to be a valuable weapon in the war against strokes. Thanks to its new technology, people who suffer from this horrible disease stand more than double the chance of surviving than they would have with the older technology. This is a huge step in the right direction for stroke research.

The Solitaire is not yet approved for use within the United States, although it has proven its worth in the European medical community. The sooner this weapon is approved in the U.S., the more likely people are to survive a devastating stroke. In stroke victims where clot busting medications are not working, a mechanical device often becomes the only way to save their lives. With the new Solitaire, these people now stand a much higher chance of survival.

Matthew G. Young is a freelance writer who specializes in financial, sports, and health-related topics. To learn more about in home health care visit Paradise In Home Care

Source: EzineArticles
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Solitaire Device


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