Neuro-interventionist Dr. Reza Jahan, from UCLA Medical Center, demonstrates the Merci Retrieval System, a high-tech corkscrew-like device that grabs and removes a clot in the brain.
Read the full transcript »
Travis Stork: We have clot-busting drugs where if someone gets to ER within three hours, sometimes those are effective, but in other scenarios you actually will sneak a catheter up into the artery in the brain, grab that clot, and remove it. And we have a fancy setup here to show us how this works. Male Speaker: That's right. This is the device in question, the mercy device, which is a corkscrew device that we thread into the clot. It grabs the clot and pulls it out very much like a wine bottle opener grabs a cork and pulls it out of a wine bottle. To get to the clot, the first thing we have to do is get to the blood vessel in the brain in question and for that, we use a catheter which is a plastic tube that we thread up the arteries in the neck, into the brain and we actually -- Travis Stork: So this starts, literally starts in the groin. Male Speaker: It starts in the groin and goes all the way up into the brain. Here we have a plastic model of the blood vessels in the brain to demonstrate that and a green piece of plastic there is a representation of the blood clot that is clogging one of the blood vessels in the brain. As you can see this catheter has already been threaded up, pass the blood clot into the brain artery and now we are going to deploy this device that corkscrew device that I showed you into the blood vessel, and you will see it come out of the device. There is the device coming out the catheter. Once it's completely deployed in the blood vessel, we pull back on the whole setup. We pull it back to engage the clot. There it is, it's going to grab the clot and very slowly we pull to remove the blood clot. What this does is it grabs the clot and pulls it out, restoring blood flow into brain. Travis Stork: What stroke patients are considered for this type of treatment? Male Speaker: These are patients who have blood vessel blockages in their brain, like this model demonstrates that are experiencing severe stroke symptoms. This device will grab the clot and open the blood vessel out to restore the blood flow and get the feel going to the brain again. Travis Stork: And the moral of the story is there is hope for someone suffering from strokes symptoms. Male Speaker: There is hope and the bottom line is, get yourself in the hospital as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. The more time goes by, the more brain dies, and there is less to salvage. You have to get to the hospital right away to get this treatment. Travis Stork: Thank you so much for showing us.
Copyright © 2005 - 2015 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.