Stroke Intervention and Treatment
A stroke is a life-threatening event that occurs when part of the brain is not receiving enough oxygen. This may be caused by either a prolonged lack of oxygen-rich blood to the brain (cerebral ischemia) or bleeding into or around the brain (cerebral hemorrhage).
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or becomes blocked. Once a stroke occurs, part of the brain does not receive enough blood and the brain cells die due to the lack of blood. The damage caused by a stroke can result in permanent brain damage or even death. However, damaged brain cells do not die immediately. They can stay alive in a compromised state for several hours, therefore with timely treatment, these cells may be saved.
For many stroke victims, prompt treatment and follow-up care may protect these brain cells and help them lead healthier, more productive lives. To minimize the damage of a stroke, victims must seek treatment immediately by going to the emergency room as soon as possible. It is vital that treatment be administered within 15 hours from the onset of a stroke. It is a challenge for medical personnel to treat the patient as quickly as possible to avoid permanent tissue damage or death, while racing against the clock to re-establish blood flow to the brain.
Immediate treatment after the onset of a stroke can result in little visible damage, but a stroke left untreated for too long can result in neurological and tissue damage (such as paralysis or permanent loss of speech) or death.
Seton Family of Hospitals and St. David’s Healthcare System are both comprehensive stroke centers that treat stroke patients from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up care. All ARA neurointerventional surgeons are members of the Austin acute stroke team.