July 17, 2020
Swedish Medical Center has participated in a groundbreaking study that offers promise for extending the treatment time for stroke victims. Current best practice is that a major stroke victim must receive care within three hours of the stroke. Swedish Medical Center, led by Dr. Don Frei, participated in a research study that showed promise for an experimental neuroprotective drug, combined with a surgical procedure to remove the clot, that could extend the treatment time for acute ischemic stroke patients. There is evidence the drug promotes brain cell survival, offering neuroprotection until the clot can be extracted.
"The research indicated that the neuroprotective drug given to those outside of the three-hour window can freeze the core and slow down the growth of the stroke," stated Dr. Frei. "This gives more time for physicians to treat the stroke patient and open up the affected artery. The drug offers the potential for a stroke patient arrives for treatment outside of the three-hour window to walk out of the hospital instead of suffering long-term or permanent paralysis."
This study was the largest study ever conducted for stroke patients involving over 1105 patients. Swedish Medical Center was one of the U.S. centers participating in the international study. The results from the study was published in the Lancet Medical Journal.
Dr Frei, Director of Neurointerventional Surgery at Swedish Medical and past president of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery, was a primary investigator for the study. "Swedish Medical Center was chosen for the study because of its reputation as one of the best stroke centers in the world" added Dr. Frei. "Swedish has extremely fast time metrics for the treatment of stroke and one of the highest incidents of independence at 90 days for major stroke victims." Swedish was the first hospital in Colorado to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center certification from the Joint Commission.