According to WHO statistics, the 3rd most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer is STROKE. Like a heart attack, every minute after the onset of stroke counts. It is one of the important causes of death and disability.
Dr. Deepak Gupta says do not wait for the symptoms to recover as they commonly progress. Moreover, the most common type of stroke, Ischemic Stroke that primarily occurs due to a clot in the brain can be treated with a simple intravenous drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), commonly called “clot buster” drug. It dissolves the clot blocking the blood flow in the artery. This should be given in the first 4 ½ hours of the stroke onset (the window period). Of these 4 ½ 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 recognise a stroke early and treat it as fast as possible.
What are the Symptoms of Stroke?
Mild or severe, the symptoms of stroke depend on the region of the brain affected. 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
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. Contrary to popular belief, lengthy tests as blood work or MRI brain are NOT needed, except in special circumstance, to give t-PA.
Remember “Seconds save lives”