Stroke: Do Not Give Time

Stroke symptoms include impaired speech, blurred vision, numbness on one side of the body, or sudden, severe headaches, stiffness of tongue. The medication helps to restore blood flow to the brain by breaking up the clots. The affected person can receive Activase (alteplase, also known as tissue plasminogen activator or TPA), only if he begins the treatment within three hours after their stroke symptoms start and only after they have had a scan to rule out bleeding in the brain.

Ben Hockridge, a paramedic by profession, was on duty when he observe a strain in the back of his head. “I was unable to speak and my speech was slurred and the right side of my body was frail,” he told. He already knew that he was having a stroke. “I told my co-worker to get me to the hospital as soon as possible and I needed Activase.” He urges his colleague to call 911 and get to the nearest stroke center or, if there isn’t one nearby, an emergency room, immediately at the first signs of stroke.

Because the medication is a clot buster, the most common side effect is bleeding, including bleeding in the brain, this is called intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). Not all patients with acute ischemic stroke will be able to use Activase, including patients with recent or ongoing bleeding; recent (within three months) surgery or trauma or previous stroke; uncontrolled high blood pressure; or problems with blood clotting.