Treatment

Dissolution of the clot with medication

A stroke should be treated as quickly as possible to keep nerve tissue damage to a minimum. The most important question for every stroke patient is therefore whether an intravenous thrombolysis can be performed to dissolve the causal clots. If this is the case, the clot-dissolving drug is administered into a vein. Intravenous thrombolysis is effective only within the first four and a half hours after the onset of symptoms.

Through a catheter to the site

In approximately 20% of stroke patients with a brain artery occlusion from a blood clot longer than 8mm, intravenous thrombolysis removes the clot satisfactorily in only 10% to 30% of cases. Endovascular thrombolysis with a catheter is faster and much more successful at reopening the blockages. A catheter, which is taken through the femoral artery to the affected cerebral artery, removes the clot from the site. The treatment is performed in the centre which is specially designed for neuroradiological diagnostics and endovascular therapies.

Operative interventions

If a minimally invasive surgical procedure is indicated, the appropriate specialist will either be called directly to the emergency room or will arrive within the next 24 hours. The interdisciplinary team comprises neurosurgeons, cardiologists, vascular surgeons and neuroradiologists. 

Transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU)

Following the neurological, internal medicine and neuroradiological evaluation and treatment, the patient is transferred to the intensive care unit or a ward with specially trained nursing staff. A patient with an intravenous thrombolysis is monitored 24 hours a day in the ICU.

Immediate start of neurorehabilitation

The neurorehabilitation, which begins on the day after admission, is an integral and essential part of treatment. Most stroke patients are discharged after an average of seven to 10 days of treatment, either to go home to continue outpatient physical, occupational and logotherapy or to an inpatient neurorehabilitation centre for a stay of four to six weeks