Rapid Diagnosis of Thrombotic Stroke Can Be Lifesaving
-WNY Hemostasis and Thrombosis Lab Responds Within Minutes-
The number of strokes in the western New York region is cause for great concern. About 130,000 people in our upstate region have survived a stroke according to “The Facts About Stroke Risk and Costs in Upstate New York, 2006-2008”. While there are several types of stroke, the early testing for thrombotic stroke can be lifesaving.
The Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of Western New York is the only local and national lab capable of turning test results around in minutes – time surgeons depend on to save a life.
Thrombotic Stroke- may occur when blood flow is impaired because of a blockage to one or more of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. The process leading to this blockage is known as thrombosis.
Blood-clot strokes can also happen as the result of unhealthy blood vessels clogged with a buildup of fatty deposits and cholesterol. The body regards these buildups as multiple, tiny and repeated injuries to the blood vessel wall. The body reacts to these injuries just as it would if the person were bleeding from a wound; it responds by forming clots. Two types of thrombosis can cause stroke: large vessel thrombosis and small vessel disease (or lacunar infarction.)
Large Vessel Thrombosis- Thrombotic stroke occurs most often in the large arteries, so large vessel thrombosis is the most common and best-known type of thrombotic stroke. Most large vessel thrombosis is caused by a combination of long-term atherosclerosis followed by rapid blood clot formation. Thrombotic stroke patients are also likely to have coronary artery disease, and heart attack is a frequent cause of death in patients who have suffered this type of brain attack. The blood clot that triggers a thrombotic stroke usually forms inside an artery that already has been narrowed by atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which fatty deposits (plaques) build up inside blood vessels.
Thrombotic strokes can affect large or small arteries in the brain. When a thrombotic stroke occurs in a small artery, the artery is usually one that is deep within the brain. This stroke is more specifically named a lacunar stroke. Lacunar strokes often have minimal symptoms because only a small part of the brain is affected.
At first, it can be impossible for a doctor to determine which type of stroke a person is having. That is because the symptoms can be identical.
A much less common cause of thrombotic stroke is migraine headache. In especially severe cases, a migraine headache can cause a brain artery to go into spasm for a long time. This can precipitate a blood clot to form.
About 50-65% of all strokes are thrombotic strokes. The factors that increase your risk of having a thrombotic stroke are:
•A family history of thrombotic stroke
•High blood pressure (hypertension)
The symptoms of a thrombotic stroke vary, depending on which area of the brain is affected. Different areas of the brain are responsible for specific functions. For example, different areas of the brain control movement, sight, speech, balance and coordination.
Symptoms can include:
•Dizziness or confusion
•Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
•Sudden, severe numbness in any part of the body
•Visual disturbance, including sudden loss of vision
•Difficulty walking, including staggering or veering
•Coordination problems in the arms and hands
•Slurred speech or inability to speak
Rapid Response – Only in Western New York
“Because our region has a high incidence of stroke, we have been very involved in the diagnostic support for neurologists, neurosurgeons and primary care physicians and others in succinctly identifying a treatment regimen based on our laboratory work in concert with standard neuro-imaging tests. Further, the benefit of the only local or national lab providing a rapid response on bleeding or clotting disorders is a lifesaving service for our region and Canada,” stated Dr. John Fitzpatrick at the Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of Western New York.
The Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of Western New York is a Center of Excellence in the area of comprehensive testing for bleeding and clotting disorders. For more information, contact Lynne Hoernig, Lab Manager at 716.218.4019 or 866.434.6551. Learn more at www.hemostasiswny.com or on Facebook at Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of Western New York.