By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia woman is the first to get a new FDA-approved life saving stroke treatment. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on the technology.
Every four minutes, someone in the United States dies from a stroke. Now, local doctors say a tiny new device can prevent these deaths in minutes.
Elisa Kahn, of Philadelphia, is happy to be alive, walking with her kids by her side. Just a few weeks ago, the 51-year-old suffered a stroke.
“I couldn’t feel my left side, couldn’t move my left side. My speech was extremely slurred,” said Elisa.
A clot was blocking blood flow to the right side of Elisa’s brain. It was quickly treated by neurosurgeon Dr. Erol Veznedarogl, with Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. He inserted a new device called the Trevo through Elisa’s leg and into her brain.
“So the second this comes out, I’ve restored blood flow to the brain,” describes Dr. Veznedaroglu.
This video from Stryker, the maker of the device, shows how a delicate mesh stent expands through the clot, allowing blood to flow immediately.
“It saved her life. Without question, this device saved her life,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu.
Surviving a stroke is all about getting treatment quickly. Doctors say it’s critical to know the warning signs.
“For the most part, strokes cause symptoms on one side of the body–weakness, numbness, heaviness on the arm, leg, drooping of the face,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu.
A few weeks after her procedure, Elisa is feeling better.
“Wonderful, like back to normal,” she said.
Doctors say the Trevo is revolutionary because it restores blood flow as the blood clot is being removed with a stent retriever.
Capital Health tested the new stroke treatment and is the first in the country to use it since it was FDA approved in August.