Stroke is the 1st leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of mortality across the world. More than 50% of the patients lose their life within first 6 months, 25% require assistance for daily activities while the other 25% are independent after 6 months of treatment.
Dr. Shalesh Rohatgi says, it occurs when our brain receives less blood, thereby depriving it of several oxygen and nutrients, causing the brain cells to die. This can be due to occlusion (blocked artery) of a blood vessel (ischemic stroke) due to deposition of fat or rupturing (leaking/bursting) of blood vessels (hemorrhagic stroke). There can be a situation when the person may receive a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain.
You must be watchful of the below symptoms to know that person is having a stroke:
- Sudden onset of weakness in any limb (arms, face or leg) - In case you experience numbness or weakness especially on one side of your body, or you are stumbling, can indicate that you are having a stroke.
- Early dropping of face
- Explosive Headache - A sudden headache accompanied with vomiting may indicate that you are having a stroke.
- Inability to speak or slurred speech - Difficulty in understanding speech or slur of words can indicate the possibility of stroke.
More than 80% of stroke occurs due to occlusion of blood vessels. You must know that the risk of stroke doubles every decade after the age of 55. A few risk factors associated with it are:
- High Blood Pressure
- Lack of Physical Exercise
- High Cholesterol
- Valvular heart diseasae
How to Evaluate a Stroke Patient?
It is important to evaluate a stroke patient with either a CT scan or MRI of brain in the first 3 hours. For occlusive strokes, the clot bursting medication has to be administered within 3 to 4.5 hours of its onset. The urgency of the stroke has to be understood as some patients might require life saving surgery.
Care after Stroke
Moreover, rehabilitation with appropriate and intensive physiotherapy, speech therapy, and swallowing techniques under supervision are important for long term recovery.