Penn Highlands Announces Use of Tenecteplase for Stroke Treatment

As National Stroke Awareness Month begins, Penn Highlands Healthcare has announced that it has finalized its transition to using the clot-busting agent tenecteplase for treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

Tenecteplase is a single-bolus thrombolytic that enables physicians to provide the fastest-yet administration of a clot-busting agent in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

Prior to its transition to tenecteplase, Penn Highlands utilized alteplase to break up and dissolve blood clots during acute ischemic stroke treatment. Compared to alteplase, the efficacy of tenecteplase is equal, and at times superior, and results in fewer complications and better long-term outcomes for patients.

“Recent studies have shown that tenecteplase is a more beneficial option than alteplase because of improved efficacy and cost,” said Dr. Jason Ignatius, neurologist at Penn Highlands.

Penn Highlands was one of the first health systems in the country to convert its entire acute care system to tenecteplase. Penn Highlands began the transition in November 2020 and finished March 1, 2021, taking just four months to complete the conversion.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, which promotes public awareness in order to reduce the incidences of stroke. The signs of a stroke tend to come on suddenly and in no particular order. Chances are you won’t be able to recognize the signs of a stroke in yourself. It’s usually someone else who notices, which is why it is important for all members of your household to be familiar with the signs of a stroke.

The easiest way to check for stroke is to remember the B.E. F.A.S.T. warning signs:

Balance or coordination problems
Eyes of vision problems
Face drooping
Arm weakness
Speech difficulty
Time to call 9-1-1

If those symptoms are present, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

To learn more, contact the office at 814-371-2200.