Memorial Healthcare System Goes Live With Landmark Clinical Stroke Trial

March 23, 2016

Mehta Brijesh

Memorial Healthcare System’s (MHS) two Comprehensive Stroke Centers have been selected among 50 sites worldwide to participate in a major clinical trial designed to examine outcomes for patients presenting with stroke due to a large vessel occlusion (LVO).

Several large scale studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year ushered in a whole new era for stroke treatment with stentriever devices to remove blood clots in the brain. This type of therapy is called mechanical thrombectomy and it is now the standard of care in stroke patients with LVO who present to the hospital within the first 6 hours of symptom onset. Unfortunately, a significant number of stroke victims do not get to the hospital in time for these life-saving therapies.

The DAWN clinical trial is designed to evaluate an extended treatment time window for this targeted population of patients presenting with ischemic stroke. Research shows that 20-30% of stroke patients arrive to the hospital well beyond 6 hours from symptom onset. These patients are classified as late presenting strokes. Also included in this population are patients who experience symptoms during sleep and have no knowledge as to time of stroke onset. Such patients have limited treatment options available to them based on current American Stroke Association (ASA) guidelines and, as a result, suffer from long-term disability and poor quality of life.

“As home to two comprehensive stroke centers that perform among the highest volume of endovascular stroke procedures in the country, Memorial is proud to be one of the first sites in Florida to go live with a study that could advance the field by proving effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy in a much broader population of stroke patients” said Brijesh P. Mehta, MD, a NeuroInterventional Surgeon and the Director of Stroke and Neurocritical Care at MHS. “Ultimately, the findings of this study may expand the treatment options for stroke patients who would otherwise be left permanently debilitated.”

The DAWN clinical trial will utilize advanced imaging technology known as RAPID CT Perfusion (CTP) to assess regions of the brain deprived of blood flow in patients with LVO. CTP has been shown to be useful in identifying patients who may benefit from aggressive treatment despite presenting in the later time windows after stroke onset. Eligible patients will be considered for the DAWN trial at the two flagship MHS comprehensive stroke centers located at Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West.

About Memorial Healthcare System, also known as the South Broward Hospital District, is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the United States and has served South Florida since 1953. The system has six hospitals, 11,000 employees, 1,700 physicians on staff and more than 150 employed physicians, who compose the Memorial Physician Group. There are also a nursing home, home health services, primary care and urgent care centers and nearly 150 research studies underway across multiple adult and pediatric disciplines. Memorial Healthcare has received numerous awards and accolades through the years. Most recently, the system received the following recognition: Modern Healthcare magazine’s “Best Place to Work in Healthcare,” Florida Trend’s “Florida’s Best Companies to Work For,” and Becker’s Hospital Review’s “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare.”


Kerting Baldwin, 954-265-3455
Director, Corporate Communications