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Stroke ... 

 

Every 3 minutes someone in the US dies from a stroke

 

 

Each year approximately 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke – and it is estimated by the year 2025, the annual number of strokes will increase to 1 million.  On average, a stroke occurs about every 45 seconds and every 3 minutes someone in the United States dies from a stroke.  Stroke can occur at any age, but in people over the age of 55, the lifetime risk of stroke is 1 in 6.  Strokes result in approximately 160,000 deaths each year in the United States .  

 

After heart disease and cancer, stroke is the third leading cause of death.  With about 5.7 million stroke survivors alive today – many of them with permanent stroke-related disabilities – it is the leading cause of disability in the United States .  Worldwide, stroke is the second leading cause of death, responsible for 4,400,000 deaths per year.

 

 

Cost

It is estimated that in 2007, more than $62 billion will be spent on direct and indirect costs related to stroke.  The mean lifetime cost of stroke in the United States is estimated at $140,048 per stroke patient.  At this time, there are limited treatment options for acute stroke.  

 

 

 

Treatment Options

There are limited treatment options for acute stroke.  Currently there is only one drug (Genentech’s Activase tissue plasminogen activator - tPA) and one device (Concentric Medical’s MERCI Retriever) cleared by the FDA to treat acute ischemic stroke victims.

tPA is effective only when used within three hours of stroke onset and tPA is limited to less than 5% of stroke victims due to contraindications and risks, which include systemic or intracranial bleeding and controversies regarding its efficacy.  In addition, tPA cannot be administered to the 120,000 stroke victims suffering from hemorrhagic stroke, which leaves those sufferers with no available treatment whatsoever.

The Merci Retriever is a mechanical device that must physically be snaked to the location of the clot and then engage the clot to remove it.  It is limited to larger vessels and is also ineffective in stroke victims suffering from hemorrhagic stroke.

 

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