(DALLAS) May 16, 2016 – Acute Ischemic Stroke Guidelines are the subject of a new toolkit from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association aimed at accelerating adoption of the 2015 update regarding endovascular treatment.

Endovascular treatment is a clot-removal procedure which involves puncturing an artery in the groin and threading a thin wire tube into the brain until it reaches the blocked vessel in one of the large arteries. At the site of the blockage, a stent retriever is pushed into the clot, grabbing and removing it.

“Stroke patients deserve the best evidence-based care available,” said Colin Derdeyn, M.D., chair of Radiology at the University of Iowa, and chair of the AHA/ASA Stroke Council. “The kit resources will help healthcare professionals better understand current treatment recommendations for acute ischemic stroke and identify opportunities to adjust their clinical approach.”

Phase one of the Acute Ischemic Stroke Treatment Toolkit, released today during American Stroke Month, includes:

  • 2015 Focused Update to the 2013 Acute Ischemic Stroke Guidelines
  • Quick Sheet (key takeaways and flow chart)
  • Healthcare Professional Education Presentation
  • Case Studies

Additional toolkit materials in development will further support patient and emergency medical services/pre-hospital education.

Clot removal with a stent retriever requires a specialized center or facility with doctors trained in the procedure. Eligible patients should receive endovascular therapy within six hours of symptom onset. In addition, the first line of treatment for all eligible patients—even those who would benefit from clot removal—is the clot-busting medication tissue plasminogen activator (IV r-tPA)/alteplase, which remains the “gold standard” for ischemic stroke treatment and is widely available.

Both IV r-tPA (alteplase) and clot-retrieval procedures work better the sooner they are administered. The American Stroke Association teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. to help people remember the most common stroke warning signs and what action to take. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Face drooping or numbness on one side.
  • Arm weakness with inability to hold both arms overhead.
  • Speech slurring or inability to repeat simple sentence.
  • Time to call 911.

The Acute Ischemic Stroke Toolkit and F.A.S.T. warning signs campaign are both part of the Together to End Stroke™ initiative nationally sponsored by Medtronic. To access the toolkit visit www.StrokeAssociation.org/AISToolkit.


About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

Media Contact

Jayme Sandberg, jayme.sandberg@heart.org, 214-706-2169