Stroke is a medical emergency and a leading cause of mortality and disability among the population. Usually, it affects elderly but about 10% of stroke occur in young leading to huge emotional and economic stress on families and caregivers.
More than 80% of affected people are having an ischemic stroke in which blood flow to the brain is cut-off due to thrombus (clot) or embolus in a blood vessel leading to injury to nerve cells and cell death.
People having high and uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, a habit of smoking and alcohol consumption are at risk. Heart disease like atrial fibrillation and rheumatic heart disease also increases the risk. Greater the risk factors, greater is the chance of developing a stroke
Delay in diagnosis is mainly due to unawareness and early recognition of symptoms. Every person should remember F.A.S.T. for quick and timely identification of stroke symptoms i.e., sudden onset facial (F) drooping on one side, Arm (A) or leg weakness/numbness or both in one half of body, difficult in speech (S) and T is time since onset of symptoms. In some people, Balance or coordination difficulty, vision difficulty, vomiting might be there.
Sometimes after recognizing symptoms relatives are confused where to go. The patient should be immediately taken to a ‘stoke emergency ready hospital ‘ having 24 by 7 diagnostic and laboratory services, dedicated team of trained neurophysician, neurosurgeon and intervention specialist who can perform IV t-PA , endovascular thrombectomy etc. In acute ischemic stroke, Intravenous t-PA can be given within 4.5 hours from symptom onset and endovascular treatment can be performed within 6 hours of onset after ruling out some contraindications. About 30000 brain cells die every second in brain stroke so every single step must be taken for quick diagnosis, timely intervention for hastening recovery.
Dr. Kamal K Nagar
Consultant Neuro Physician
Narayana Multispecialtiy Hospital