Interior Health (IH) is leading the way in Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) therapy for stroke patients, according to a recent presentation by Dr. Aleksander Tkach and IH stroke services network director Cory Bendall.
Between 2015 and 2017, Tkach said the number of ischemic stroke patients who received TPA treatment in IH hospitals increased from seven per cent to 14 per cent. That’s above the B.C. average of about 11 per cent as of 2017.
During the presentation, Tkach said TPA treatment is now being administered faster for ischemic stroke patients than other treatment options.
“With one of our patients, we we’re able to clear her blood vessel using TPA treatment in about an hour,” said Tkach.
“I’ve worked at several other stroke centres in the United States, and we were never able to achieve numbers like that. Usually it takes between 90-120 minutes to clear a blood vessel.”
Tkach said Kelowna General Hospital currently offers TPA therapy.
Tkach said TPA therapy needs to administered to ischemic stroke patients within a couple hours for it to be effective.
According to IH, approximately 62,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year. Approximately 70 per cent of people who suffer a stroke suffer an ischemic stroke.
IH is one of six different health authorities that provide health services to people across B.C..