Healthcast: New stroke treatment proves to greatly help patients recover

It’s being called a revolutionary treatment for strokes. 

A new practice called stent retrieval is proving to greatly help people recover from strokes. 

Now, these devices could play a larger role in stroke treatment. 

Doctors said a device used to pull damaging blood clots out of the brains of stroke patients could be revolutionary. 

The most common type of stroke occurs when a clot blocks an artery leading to the brain, killing off millions of brain cells every minute blood can’t get through. 

Those patients are often treated with a drug that helps dissolve the clot. 

But in some cases, a stent retriever can also be used. 

It is threaded through blood vessels into the brain, grabbing the clot, pulling it out of the body.

Adding the device to treatment can lead to dramatic recoveries. 

In a new story of about 200 patients, doctors in Canada said 91 percent of those who were able to get the stent retriever within two and a half hours had minimal or no disability. 

Each additional hour a patient waited increased the likelihood they would be left with some kind of brain damage. 

Only selected hospitals in the US are equipped to use the stent retriever, usually those that are designated "comprehensive cancer centers."

Doctors said it is important to call 911 as soon as stroke symptoms appear, such as facial drooping, arm weakness and difficulty speaking. 

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