Based on Maya’s National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, blood pressure and CT Angiography, the ED physician determines that Maya has suffered an ischemic stroke. The stroke may have caused damage to her brain, which is a part of her central nervous system. Fortunately, the doctor was able to administer tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to try to break up the clot. However, she is not responding very well so the decision has been made to perform surgery.

The ED physician explains to Maya’s daughter that Maya will be taken to surgery to dislodge the clot. Using x-ray guidance, a device will be maneuvered through the blood vessels of the body to the site of the clot in her brain. The clot will be dislodged and a suction device grabs hold of it for removal. The physician shows Maya’s daughter a video of the surgery so she understands the procedure. (See animation below).

The physician warns Maya’s daughter that the surgery could trigger another stroke. Another clot could dislodge that could travel through the bloodstream and block an artery. However, the surgery could also help lower the risk of another stroke for several years. Time is of the essence, because the surgery must be administered within eight hours of the first stroke signs. Because Maya cannot make a decision for herself right now, her daughter agrees that the surgery should be done.