National stroke summit tour convenes physicians across the U.S. to advance optimal stroke care delivery

Jan 09, 2014, 09:00 ET from Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) today has launched a 2014 national tour that will bring together physicians and medical personnel across the nation involved in stroke care to address current stroke treatment in the U.S. and the value of neurointerventional therapy in optimal stroke care delivery.  Ranked the fourth leading cause of death in the United States by the American Stroke Association, stroke is a complex disease that requires the input of a diverse group of medical professionals in a short period of time to facilitate timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment to achieve optimal outcomes.

"This is an exciting initiative for our society and our physicians," said Philip Meyers, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Director of Neuroendovascular Services at New York Presbyterian Hospitals and President of SNIS. "Instead of waging the war on stroke in isolation at our individual hospitals, SNIS physicians are facilitating a national conversation on some of the most important treatment issues and challenges facing the stroke community today."

Stroke Summit 2014: Excellence in Patient Care launched today in Houston and is scheduled in 12 cities across the U.S. in the next three months, including, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The summits will host the multiple physicians and personnel considered to be part of any hospital "stroke team," including first responders, emergency room physicians, radiologists, neurologists, neurointerventional surgeons and others. Currently, these medical professionals practice in over one thousand primary and approximately 60 comprehensive stroke centers across the United States, all of which are certified to offer coordinated systems of care, including stroke prevention, optimal use of EMS, effective acute and subacute stroke care, and rehabilitation.  

The stroke summit initiative is anticipated to highlight the complex and nuanced factors involved in the treatment of stroke, a condition that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), occurs every 40 seconds and leads to more than 130,000 deaths annually.  Despite its impact, however, various measures over the last two decades have resulted in a decline in death rates – more than 30 percent from 1995 to 2005.  SNIS and other stakeholders in the stroke community are committed to taking action to further reduce the impact of stroke on individuals, families and communities.

"We've made great strides in the battle against stroke through public education campaigns, advances in science that include neurointerventional techniques and the creation of specialty stroke centers with the necessary personnel, equipment and therapies to treat stroke effectively," said Meyers. "Alongside all these initiatives, it is equally important to focus efforts inside the hospital environment where collaboration among the stroke team to execute appropriate stroke treatment can make the real difference for patients who entrust their lives to us in their time of crisis."

The most prevalent type of stroke is acute ischemic stroke which occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot. When this happens, part of the brain is deprived of the blood and oxygen it needs, causing brain cells to die at a rate of two million per minute and increasing the risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Neurointerventional therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that can eliminate the clot directly at the site of the blockage.  Under fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, physicians thread a catheter through the arteries from the point of entry at the groin up to the site of the stroke in the brain.  Through the catheter, clot-busting drugs or devices are utilized to eliminate the blockage and restore normal blood flow through the vessel.

Neurointerventional techniques to treat stroke have evolved over the past decade, expanding the treatment window from three hours up to eight for certain patients and providing thousands of new options for minimally invasive stroke care.

About SNIS
Founded in 1992, the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) includes physicians who specialize in minimally invasive techniques to treat neurovascular conditions, including stroke, aneurysms, carotid stenosis and spinal abnormalities. Drawing on diverse backgrounds and expertise including interventional neuroradiology, neurosurgery and neurology, these physicians are continuing to forge new pathways in the development of the distinct specialty of neurointervention. Over the past two decades, practitioners of this field have paved the way for the scientific research and study that has resulted in new technology and revolutionary treatment approaches that have transformed the neurosciences. In keeping with the mission of SNIS, the society remains committed to working in partnership to advance the science and medical environment that will result in enhanced quality of care for patients across the globe. Follow us on Twitter @SNISinfo.

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SOURCE Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery