Recent Blog Articles

Medical Tests & Procedures

When a stroke strikes

Under new guidelines, more people may qualify for a clot-retrieving procedure that promises better outcomes — once it becomes more widely available.

16207257108933
 Image: © Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

About every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. These potentially devastating events are nearly always caused by a blood clot blocking an artery supplying the brain (known as an ischemic stroke). Now, new guidelines have expanded the treatment options for removing or dissolving these clots — a change that experts say will save lives and prevent or limit brain damage from strokes.

"The future of stroke treatment is here. The question is, are we ready?" says Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of acute stroke services at Massachusetts General Hospital. Currently, there's a shortage of specialists trained to perform the delicate procedure used to retrieve a clot during a stroke. The professional societies responsible for the training are working to catch up with the demand, she explains.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.