Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA)

One of the treatments that stroke patients may receive is tissue plaminogen activator (t-PA). T-PA is an enzyme found naturally in the body, which converts, or activates, plasminogen into the enzyme plasmin to dissolve blood clots blocking flow to the brain.

A genetically engineered form of tissue plasminogen activator is known as Activase. Because of the highly specialized training required to administer t-PA, this drug is only administered by Emergency Department nurses, Critical Care nurses or the Stroke Neurologist. Administering t-PA within three hours of the first stroke symptoms can help offset consequences of a stroke such as stroke damage and disability.

*For most patients, t-PA must be administered within 3 hours of the first stroke symptoms.