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Early treatment after a stroke

Early treatment after a stroke is vital as the faster you can get treatment the more brain can be saved.

If you arrive at the hospital quickly, you may be treated with a drug known as ‘tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator).

This drug breaks down the blood clots that cause an ischaemic stroke. It is very good at improving a person’s recovery after stroke but it can also cause bleeding in the brain. ‘tPA must be started within 4.5 hours of the stroke, after a CT scan, and can only be used where there are experienced doctors and specialist services. This drug is only useful for certain types of stroke (those due to blood clots) and is not suitable for everyone.

For early treatment after a stroke – ischaemic (caused by a blood clot) you should be given aspirin as soon as possible after the stroke. Aspirin is not recommended if you have had a stroke where the blood vessel burst. Aspirin helps reduce further blood clots and lowers your chance of having another stroke.

Recognising the signs of a stroke and getting to hospital quickly for early treatment after a stroke is important to minimise the effects of a stroke.