SHELTER device traps and removes blood clots in the brain Credit: Zina Deretsky, NSF
By the time you finish reading this, two people in the U.S. will have suffered a stroke, or brain attack. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and claimed over 130,000 lives last year. Of those who survive, hundreds are left debilitated every day. Ischemic strokes, a blood clot or break in blood vessels in the brain, are responsible for 80% of all strokes. Fast treatment is critical; more than a million brain cells die each minute after onset of a symptoms, and the risk of brain damage increases rapidly if the clot is not removed within three hours. A new device, SHELTER, offers hope of extending the time a patient can get help. It filters and removes clots and can be custom-fit for the specific length and diameter of a patient's clot.