Swedish Medical Center was the first advanced care center in the state to bring an innovative medical device to its stroke care protocol. The MAX System of Reperfusion Catheters is aimed at treating ischemic stroke patients faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Ischemic strokes are caused by a blood clot or embolism that stops blood flow to the brain. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic, occur every 40 seconds in the U.S. and are the third leading cause of death.

This advanced catheter provides a better alternative to the standard guidewire used by physicians to navigate the arteries to the brain.

The procedure can be used to open the blood vessels of an ischemic stroke patient within eight hours of symptom onset. Swedish Medical Center uses the system in conjunction with intravenous clot-busting drug, t-PA or when those drugs can’t be used.

The system represents a significant advancement in stroke treatment, bringing urgent and needed relief to a large population of stroke patients. The ability to quickly and easily treat patients with a 4MAX catheter over a standard guidewire gives us more time to concentrate on treating the stroke.

Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Stroke

Nearly 800,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year, yet most people in the U.S. cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors. 

F – Face: Ask the person to smile, does one side of the face drooping down?

A – Arm: Can the person raise both arms?

S – Speech: Is speech slurred or confusing? Is the person able to speak?

T – Time: Time is critical. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Time Is Brain

During a stroke, an estimated 30,000 brain cells die per second, so a patient’s outcomes and recovery are far better the quicker the patient is evaluated and treated. People with a family history of stroke are more likely to have a stroke, and by 2030, it is estimated that 4 million people will have had a stroke. This is nearly 25 percent higher than 2010 estimates.