I don’t know if you have noticed, but over the last 6 months there has been a flurry of ads on television, radio, and medical advertisements stressing the need for patients with symptoms of acute stroke to seek medical attention for immediate therapy. The treatment they are referring to is the administration of t-PA within three hours of the onset of an acute ischemic stroke.
However, some studies make you wonder just how safe is this t-PA therapy. One study found that of those patients receiving this relatively new therapy, their in-hospital mortality rate was 11.4 percent. The in-hospital mortality rate for patients who did not receive t-PA was only 6.8%. Simply stated, nearly 5 % more patients receiving t-PA died compared with those who did not receive this therapy for their stroke!
So what do you do if you or a loved one is experiencing a stroke? In making up your mind you need to know that one in eight patients are helped at three months, one in 17 are harmed, and that there has been a documented increase in death in patients who have t-PA. As for my own family, I would not give this therapy.