New Guidelines for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke | News | Loyola Medicine

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Chicago Physician among Appointed Authors of New Guidelines for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

Jose Biller, MD

MAYWOOD, IL -- The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recently appointed a writing group to provide updated guidelines for the early management of acute ischemic stroke. The group was comprised of specialists in various areas of expertise, including neurology, neurosurgery, neurointerventional radiology, translational neuroscience, critical care, emergency medicine and nursing. This group of multidisciplinary experts reviewed randomized trials relevant to the treatment of ischemic stroke and developed new and updated guidelines.

José Biller, MD, chairperson of neurology at Loyola University Medical Center, was a contributing author of these updated guidelines for the treatment of adults with acute arterial ischemic stroke. He said, “The expectation is that the modern practice of medicine should be based on best evidence. The guidelines followed a meticulous methodology and are largely based on rigorous randomized trials.”

Clinically, Dr. Biller cares for patients with aneurysms, brain hemorrhages and transient ischemic attacks in addition to caring for stroke patients. Loyola University Medical Center is recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as a certified comprehensive stroke center. In addition to providing evidence-based stroke care to its own patients, Loyola provides telestroke services for hospitals across Illinois and neighboring states. “We emphasize ‘time equals brain,’ which is why the evaluation and treatment of acute stroke is time-sensitive. Through the use of technology, we can provide expertise on the diagnosis and management of strokes to our colleagues at other hospitals in real time,” he said.

The updated guidelines apply to adult patients with ischemic stroke from the time symptoms appear to two weeks post-stroke. The guidelines have been made available to emergency medical services responders, physicians, allied health professionals and hospital administrators. Patients will benefit from major changes to treatment protocols, including updates to the use of aspirin and thrombolytic agents, the urgency of intervention with guidelines for prehospital triage and transport, as well as initiation of in-hospital measures to prevent recurrent stroke.

Stroke is a principal cause of mortality and disability. In the United States, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death, with more than 133,000 people dying because of stroke each year. At Loyola, said Dr. Biller, “we strive to practice evidence-based medicine and collaborate in the search for new knowledge. It is expected that within five to six years, the guidelines will be updated again because we will have new evidence.”

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.