Capital Health First in Country to Use New Stroke Retrieval Device

Restores Blood Flow to the Brain Faster

Trenton, NJ (August 10, 2012) - Capital Health Regional Medical Center this week became the first hospital in the country to treat a stroke patient using Trevo™ following its approval by the FDA earlier this week. The device was used by Capital Health cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon, Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu (also known as Dr. Vez) this past Wednesday.

The device, which literally “retrieves” blood clots from within the brain’s vasculature, is used to remove blood clots in patients suffering from acute ischemic stroke, where a blood clot, or thrombus, blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Trevo is used to perform what is called a mechanical thrombectomy. Unlike other devices, Trevo entraps the clot in a way that can immediately allow blood to start flowing back to the brain. With other devices, blood can only begin flowing after the clot is removed.

“The procedure we did yesterday demonstrated everything that can go right when treating a stroke patient,” said Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Capital Health and director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences. “From the time she arrived at the emergency department at Aria Health, to the time she arrived at Capital Health, approximately 90 minutes elapsed.”

“The speed at which the referring emergency department recognized what was happening with the patient, started IV tPA and got her to us for intervention, is what all hospitals should be striving for. I am incredibly proud of everyone involved because to accomplish that kind of quick response and treatment is of significant benefit to the patient and takes every single piece being ready and in place before the patient even arrives with a stroke.”

Elisa Kahn, 51, of Philadelphia, PA, arrived at the emergency room losing strength on her left side and exhibiting other signs of a stroke including slurred speech, and drooping in the face. The emergency department at Aria did a CT scan and administered IV tPA at the same time as they were consulting with the neurosurgical team at Capital Health. At this point, Kahn’s left arm and leg were paralyzed.

When she arrived at Capital Health, Ms. Kahn was taken immediately to the angiography suite. Dr. Vez located the clot which was blocking the supply of blood to the entire right hemisphere of her brain. Blood began flowing back through the vessel immediately after the Trevo device made its first pass through the affected artery. Within 15 minutes of arriving in the suite, the vessel was open.

Kahn has steadily regained the feeling in her left side and is recovering in the dedicated Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at the healthcare system’s Trenton hospital.

“I had no feeling all along my left side, and that has been restored,” said Kahn. “I cannot say enough or thank the medical team enough. I know how fortunate I am that I was sent to Capital Health and want people to know how special this entire team is.”

“With a time critical disease like stroke, patients need treatment fast and having a broad range of treatment options available is essential to providing patients with the best chance at surviving and limiting associated disabilities,” added Dr. Vez. “For us as physicians, constantly advancing the tools available to us enables us to more effectively treat these patients. What makes the Trevo device such a powerful tool is that blood flow can be restored immediately after the device deploys because of the more rapid clot integration into the device. The time frame to diagnosis, communication between the referring hospital and Capital Health, and treatment of the patient is almost unheard of, and the close collaboration between Capital Health and Aria made this possible.”

The Trevo device combines a stent-like shaped section with retrieval capabilities and utilizes Stentriever™ technology.

Appropriate patients impacted by ischemic stroke can be treated initially by IV tPA, a clot busting drug, if it is administered in a relatively short window of three hours after symptoms begin. After that window, or if tPA is not successful or the patient is not a candidate, patients may be candidates for intra-arterial mechanical thrombectomy (clot removal).

Mechanical thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to attempt removal of the clot. It is done endovascularly through a small incision in the groin. Following the incision, a guidewire and microcatheter are navigated through the femoral artery into the blood vessel containing the clot. At that point a device is deployed to entrap the clot and remove it from the body.

Capital Health neurosurgeons have participated in multiple clinical trials to test new devices to treat stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases. In 2010, the hospital became the first hospital in Southern/Central New Jersey and the Philadelphia region to treat a patient using the Solitaire™ FR Revascularization Device, a clot retrieval device approved by the FDA earlier this year. In 2011, the hospital was the first in the country to use Trevo during its investigational phase.

About Capital Health

Capital Health’s neurosciences program serves as a regional referral source for dozens of hospitals and thousands of patients have been transferred to the program. The Capital Institute for Neurosciences and the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of NJ, which both make their home at Capital Health, receive patients transferred from hospitals throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania and beyond.

Capital Health is a leading provider of the most sophisticated stroke and cerebrovascular care available. A Joint Commission accredited primary stroke center, Capital Health offers a highly specialized team trained in complex brain disorders and the most advanced procedures offered for the care of patients with strokes, aneurysms, and brain tumors, among other conditions.

Capital Health Regional Medical Center is a state designated comprehensive stroke center and the new Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell is a state designated primary stroke center. Capital Health was the first hospital in the country to use the investigational clot retrieval device, TREVO both during its investigation phase and after FDA approval. Neurosurgeons at the hospital were also the first in southern and central New Jersey and the Philadelphia region to use Solitaire, another clot retrieval device which was recently approved by the FDA for stroke patients, during the device’s clinical trials.

The hospital offers one of only a handful of neurosurgical intensive care units in the state and last year opened the country’s first Center for Neurologic Emergency Medicine at its Regional Medical Center, a dedicated emergency program for patients requiring emergency care involving the brain, spine or central nervous system.

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