Stroke victims given standard t-PA (human tissue plasminogen activator) treatment face a very high risk of suffering a brain hemorrhage, and possibly a fatal one.
Research among 291 stroke patients found that 6.4 per cent of those given the treatment went on to suffer a hemorrhage, and half of those died. This compares with just 0.6 per cent who suffered a hemorrhage after being given a placebo treatment.
Another study, this time among 333 stroke patients, found little difference in recovery between those given standard treatment and those given a placebo.
The one positive outcome was that patients whose treatment was started within 90 minutes of the start of the stroke did better than those whose treatment was delayed.