Stroke is a major Public Health Problem in the United States costing billions of dollars each year.
There is only one FDA approved drug for the treatment of Acute Stroke. This Drug is tPA, a clot dissolving drug which can be administered intravenously to open up the clot blocked brain blood vessels in acute ischemic stroke victims. Of approximately 800,000 new stroke patients each year in the U.S., 85% of which are ischemic strokes, only 3% to 4% receive the FDA approved tPA treatment at major medical centers.
In large part this is due to the fact that most acute stroke patients—ESPECIALLY IN RURAL MEDICALLY UNDERSERVED AREAS-- do not get to a major medical center stroke treatment center within the FDA required 3 hour post stroke time window. Presently, this FDA time window is justified since after 3 hours post stroke the risk of brain hemorrhage from tPA becomes a serious side effect, plus after 3 hours post stroke, the human brain usually has degenerated to the point where there is not enough viable brain tissue to salvage with circulation restoration with tPA.
There is a strong need to improve the North Carolina Emergency Medicine Stroke Triage system for improved stroke treatment so that more North Carolina and United States citizens can get to the hospital in time to qualify for tPA, plus there is a need for a better medical treatment to decrease the mortality and morbidity of North Carolina stroke patients.
Our published medical research indicates that a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Equipped Stroke Treatment Ambulance would extend the safe 3-hour FDA approved window for administration of brain blood circulation clot-dissolving treatment and produce a dramatic improvement of the positive benefit of the treatment. This would open up better acute stroke care for thousands of stroke patients in North Carolina and the United States.