The Merci retrieval device is one of two FDA-approved instruments used to remove blood clots from patients experiencing a stroke. Merci is a minimally invasive system in which a catheter is inserted through a tiny incision in an artery (usually in the groin), then threaded to the clot. The Merci device is used to capture the clot and remove it from the body through the catheter. By removing the clot, blood flow is restored, improving patients’ outcomes.
In a trial of the Merci system, blood flow was restored in 55 percent of patients when used alone and 68 percent of the time when used in conjunction with other treatments. For every three patients treated with the Merci system, blood flow was restored in approximately two patients; of those two patients, one had little or no disability. Of the patients who had blood flow restored, 49 percent were functioning independently at 90 days’ follow up with their doctor.