Stopping Stroke: New Device
Lets Doctors Pull Clots Out of Brain Arteries
For people suffering a stroke, clot-dissolving drugs are often the first line of treatment. Some clots, however, do not respond to emergency medications. For these patients, a new device called the Merci® Retriever can be a life-saving option.
The tip of the device has a series of loops, like a corkscrew. Using a catheter, a physician guides the retriever through a blood vessel to the artery in the brain where the clot is lodged. The physician maneuvers the device to grab the clot, then slowly pulls it out of the artery, re-establishing critical blood flow.
Sam Zaidat, MD, MSc, Medical College of Wisconsin neuro-interventional stroke critical care specialist, is specially trained in the use of the Merci Retriever. “The Merci device is effective in treating large blood clots — the kind that cause a major stroke,” Dr. Zaidat says. He notes the device can be an important backup tool for clot-dissolving medications, which are meant to be administered within the first six hours of a stroke. “The Merci Retriever is approved for use for up to eight hours after the onset of stroke symptoms.”
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: March 2006