At MCN we emphasize evidence-based medicine, and our doctors support each of their claim decisions with referenced sources and years of training and practice. But in the world of science and medicine, interpreting findings isn’t without disagreement and it sometimes takes years to find medical solutions to disease and injury.
This article from The New York Times demonstrates this conflict as doctors around the world debate whether tissue plasminogen activator (T.P.A.) can prevent brain injury after a stroke or if it does more damage than good.
Dr. Christopher Lewandowski, the principal contributor to TPA research and findings, proved that this clot-buster drug could open up the blocked vessel in the brain during a stroke and prevent/minimize permanent disability in the future. The first clinical trial to test this drug took place 22 years ago, and Dr. Lewandowski is still trying to explain the data to doubtful doctors around the world who refuse to use it.
According to this article, 700,000 people have blood clot related strokes a year, and 30% of the patients who qualify for TPA never receive it. Doctors in favor of administering TPA say that without it as part of a treatment plan, “many patients end up permanently disabled.”
On the flip side, doubters question the validity of the first experiments saying that they were flawed because TPA was used on the least severe type of stroke. Those receiving the remedy, therefore, were less badly effected from the start, and professionals are unsure if the recovery can be credited to TPA or natural causes. Eleven other experiments have shown no benefit to TPA, but those studies were conducted on severe stroke patients and those outside the recommended window of time for TPA to be administered.
As the medical field progresses, cures and conflicting opinions will continue to exist. That’s why we believe in the power of a second look.