Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville expands hope for stroke patients

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Two new clinical trials, DAWN and POSITIVE, expand treatment window to patients.

Clinical stroke trials at the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville are giving new hope to people who otherwise were past the window for minimally invasive treatment.

About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds and is the No. 5 cause of death taking nearly 129,000 lives a year. Stroke is also the leading cause of long-term disability.

Two new trials, DAWN and POSITIVE, hope to reduce those numbers by giving ischemic stroke patients, who can’t get the clot buster drug medication tPA or who do not get better with this drug, the opportunity to have endovascular intervention. Neurovascular surgeons can use a stent retriever device, which is a hollow metal tube made of Nitinol wire mesh like a stent, to remove the blood clot. The device can go into the blood vessel through the groin up to the brain to unblock the vessel.

Currently, the standard of care for interventional treatment is within six hours after the start of stroke symptoms. The DAWN trial goes beyond that window by looking at using the retriever between six and 24 hours.

The POSITIVE trial also uses devices and medications approved by the FDA for opening clotted blood vessels, but looks at going up to 12 hours after symptoms first began. Patients are selected based on special advanced imaging that is new to Baptist and shows how much of the brain is still viable.

Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, director of the Baptist Neurological Institute at Baptist Jacksonville, said the two trials are particularly beneficial for people who wake up with a stroke and do not know when the symptoms first occurred. Clot buster medication is also not an option since the medication must be provided within 4.5 hours of symptoms occurring to be effective, Dr. Hanel said.

Baptist Health has more than 20 clinical trials for stroke and aneurysms and in many cases are the only ones in the region offering the trial.

“Having clinical trials ongoing allows us to be on the cutting edge of new concepts, techniques and technologies,” said Dr. Hanel, who is also the primary international investigator on some of the trials. “What it means for the patient is they have first-hand access to what are the latest and potentially the greatest technology before anyone else in the country."

“Through our clinical trials, someone who has a stroke in our community has access to treatments that are potentially very impactful for preservation of their quality of life. The clinical trials also help define the new frontier of stroke treatment,” added Eric Sauvageau, MD, director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Jacksonville.

For more information on Baptist Health’s services for stroke and aneurysms and clinical trials, go to baptistjax.com/stroke.

About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health, Flagler Hospital and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.

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Deborah Circelli
Baptist Health
+1 (904) 202-4916
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