October 15, 2015
1 minute, 38 seconds read
STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY WITH SWIFT, SPECIALISED TREATMENT VITAL TO A GOOD RECOVERY
Sroke is an important cause of death and disability worldwide. According to WHO statistics, stroke is the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Stroke is an emergency. Don't wait for the symptoms to recover as they more commonly progress. And like a heart attack, every minute after the onset of stroke counts. The most common kind of stroke, ischemic stroke, due to a brain clot can be treated with a simple intravenous drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), commonly called "clotbuster" drug. It dissolves the clot blocking the blood flow in the artery. t-PA saves more lives and increases the chances of a better recovery. But it can only be given in the first four and half hours from the stroke onset -the window period. Of these 4.5 hours the chances of recovery are best if the drug can be started in the first one hour of stroke onset. So, it is important to recognize a stroke early and treat it as fast as possible.
The most common symptoms of stroke are:
- Sudden numbness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden weakness of arm or leg (paralysis)
- Sudden difficulty in speaking or understanding speech; patient may look confused
- Sudden trouble in vision with one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking or loss of balance or dizziness
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
The symptoms of stroke depend upon the region of the brain which is affected. Symptoms can be mild or severe. If a patient presents to any doctor with symptoms suggestive of stroke, the patient should be immediately referred to the nearest emergency for a plain CT of the head and examination by a neurologist. The neurologist after seeing the patient and the scan should be able to decide whether the patient can be given the t-PA. Remember "Seconds save lives"