A revolutionary new stroke treatment is seemingly bringing critically ill patients “back to life”, a report has revealed.
Doctors at St George’s Hospital in London say that people left unconscious or unable to speak or move by major strokes are making dramatic – and sometimes instant – recoveries.
They say that getting the treatment within a certain time period after having the stroke can be the difference between a full recovery and serious disability or death.
A 17-year-old girl was the first to receive the revolutionary new treatment, after being rushed to hospital with the symptoms of stroke.
Doctors say she was unable to speak or move one side of her body. That was, though, until she suddenly recovered following the new procedure.
A three-foot long catheter wire was fed through her groin to “fish out” life-threatening blood clots in her brain. The procedure is called a mechanical thrombectomy, and is especially effective when patients fail to respond to clot-busting drugs.
Experts say the technique more than doubled some patients’ chances of surviving without serious disability.
Consultant neurologist Dr Bhavini Patel said: “The whole of her right side had no power. She was mute.
“As soon as the doctors pulled the wire out, that was it. She was speaking again. I went in to see her and she said, ‘Oh, I can move my leg. I can move my arm. I can speak.’
“She went home the next day. This was the week before her 18th birthday.”
Dr Joe Leyon, the interventional neuroradiologist who performed the procedure, said: “It’s devastating for patients to find one moment they’re completely paralysed and/or have lost speech.
“It’s fair to say they have been brought back to life when they get these functions back in a moment.”