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Portable device to treat strokes may extend the 'golden hour'

August 6, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Vesselon Inc., a startup company based in New York, has developed a portable device that uses ultrasound to treat those who are experiencing an ischemic stroke—the type that accounts for 87 percent of all strokes.

Designed to be used by paramedics or emergency department staff, the device uses a combination of non-imaging ultrasound and intravenously administered microbubbles to dissolve blood clots. 

Two "stroke pads" are attached to the scalp and the battery-powered device delivers ultrasound waves directly to the main cerebral vessels where most clots causing ischemic stroke occur.

"We believe our device can be compared to an ultrasound automated external defibrillator (AED) for stroke,” said Clay Larsen, president, CEO and co-founder of Vesselon, in a press release. “It will be designed to immediately treat ischemic stroke victims before or as they arrive at a hospital—critical because minutes matter to save lives and save quality of lives.”

The standard treatment for ischemic stroke is the administration of the drug tissue plasminogen activator, or tPa, which can dissolve a clot. But only 5 percent of stroke victims receive this drug early enough for it to prevent damage.