A stroke is a Brain Attack affecting the brain like heart attack affecting the heart. It happened due to either block in blood supply to the brain (Ischemic stroke) or due to bleeding within or outside the brain (Hemorrhagic stroke).
Persons above 65 are at increased risk of storke. But, due to the new-age lifestyle, even youngsters are affected by stroke. Stroke is a high probability in persons with high blood pressure, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, Smokers, Obese persons with sendentary lifestyle, with high blood cholesterol, heart diseases, and excess alcohol intake. Strokes are a leading cause of disability worldwide. India has about 60% of the world’s stroke patients. Studies say that one in four adults over 25 years suffers a stroke in their lifetime.
In patients with a major ischemic stroke, every minute after stroke is important as around 2 million neurons are destroyed with every passing minute. There is destruction of important parts of the brain tissue that stores your memories, thinking ability, decision making ability, speaking ability, hand and leg moving ability leading to permanent disability.
Since ischemic stroke is a painless condition, most people either don’t recognize it or consult a doctor immediately. Delayed treatment and can hamper the chances of recovery.
Unexpected weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech, lack of balance and vision disturbances are all indication of a stroke. Using the Acronym BEFAST – It stands for Balance, Eye sight, Facial drooping, Arm and leg weakness, Speech disturbance and Time to call the ambulance. Anyone with these symptoms needs to be immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment. The earlier the treatment is initiated, the more likely the patient will recover without disability.
Treatment of stroke:
If the patient can reach the hospital within 4.5 hours of the first symptoms of an ischemic stroke, doctors will be able to administer a clot-busting drug to break the blood clots. It improves the chances of recovering from a stroke. When the patient accesses healthcare within 24 hours of suffering a stroke, Neuroendovascular surgeons do a minimally invasive procedure called “Mechanical Thrombectomy” to save the patient and help the patient to recover form stroke symptoms.
But identifying and reacting to stroke symptoms speedily is key to achieving proper treatment for a stroke patient.
Risk reduction for stroke:
To avoid risk of stroke, you need to Improve your lifestyle and be active, Eat a healthy diet and exercise daily, Avoid smoking, maintain your weight, Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes under control. Periodic medical check-ups can help you prevent stroke.
World Stroke Day is celebrated on October 29, 2022 this year and the theme is #Precioustime. Every minute after the stroke hits is precious.
Dr. Srinivasan Paramasivam
Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Head of Neuroendovascular surgery
Apollo hospitals, Chennai.