Stroke and tPA

tPA is one of the few drugs shown to be effective in an acute stroke. However, it can have dangerous and life-threatening side effects, which is why physicians are hesitant to administer it. Neurologists don’t really see the big picture – comparing tPA to antibiotics is ridiculous:

“I label this a national tragedy or a national embarrassment,” said Dr. Mark J. Alberts, a neurology professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “I know of no disease that is as common or as serious as stroke and where you basically have one therapy and it’s only used in 3 to 4 percent of patients. That’s like saying you only treat 3 to 4 percent of patients with bacterial pneumonia with antibiotics.”

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