Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

More Than 850,000 Coloradoans At Risk For Stroke In Their Lifetime

October 17, 2012

World Stroke Day & Swedish Medical Center Raise Awareness on New Treatments, Education

DENVER, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In just our mountainous corner of the world, nearly 433,000 Denver metro area residents will experience a stroke in their lifetime. The staggering statistics: one in six – or more than 850,000 Colorado residents will experience the same. In an effort to raise awareness of new treatments and prevention, Swedish Medical Center and The World Stroke Organization are spotlighting World Stroke Day Oct. 29.

Now, Swedish has introduced the latest treatment for ischemic strokes, and is the only health care provider in the state with the capability to dramatically improve the outcome for ischemic stroke patients. Its use of the MAX System of Reperfusion Catheters treats ischemic stroke patients faster and more efficiently than ever before. Manufactured by Penumbra, Inc., the device is yet another tool in Swedish Medical Center’s arsenal of unmatched stroke care for Colorado residents.

Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot or embolism that stops blood flow to the brain. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, occur every 40 seconds in the U.S. and is the fourth leading cause of death. The new MAX Catheters provide a better alternative to the standard guidewire used by physicians to navigate the arteries to the brain. The procedure can be used to open the blood vessels of an ischemic stroke patient within eight hours of symptom onset. Swedish Medical Center uses the MAX System in conjunction with intravenous clot-busting drug, t-PA or when those drugs can’t be used.

“The MAX System represents a significant advancement in stroke treatment, bringing urgent relief to a large population of stroke patients,” said Swedish Medical Center’s Neurointerventional Radiologist Don Frei, M.D. “The ability to quickly and easily treat patients with a 4MAX catheter over a standard guidewire gives us more time to concentrate on treating the stroke. And we know that time is of the essence when treating strokes. This new device also allows us to remove the clot more efficiently. It has become the front line device for stroke patients at Swedish Medical Center.”

According to Dr. Frei, nearly 800,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year, yet most people in the U.S. cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors. Dr. Frei reminds residents to remember the FAST test to recognize warning signs:

F – Face: Ask the person to smile; does one side of the face droop?
A – Arm: Can the person raise both arms?
S – Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing?
T – Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately.

During a stroke, an estimated 30,000 brain cells die per second, so a patient’s outcomes and recovery are far better the quicker the patient is evaluated and treated. People with a family history of stroke are more likely to have a stroke, and by 2030, it is estimated that 4 million people will have had a stroke. This is nearly 25 percent higher than 2010 estimates. www.SwedishHospital.com

SOURCE Swedish Medical Center

Source: PR Newswire