Stroke can cause a lot of symptoms like weakness, numbness, slurred speech etc. Most of the strokes are painless. They can be easily diagnosed by patients and their relatives. REMEMBER THE 6 S METHOD TO DIAGNOSE STROKE:
The symptoms of stroke depend on what part of the brain is damaged. The most common symptoms include:
- SUDDEN (symptoms usually start suddenly)
- SLURRED SPEECH ( speech is not clear, as if drunk)
- SIDE WEAK ( face, arm or leg or all three can get weak)
- SPINNING ( VERTIGO)
- SEVERE HEADACHE
- SECONDS ( note the time when the symptoms start and rush to the hospital)
Symptoms depend on which part of the brain is affected and if not treated well in time, the weakness and other neurological defects may become permanent and extremely disabling.
Which age group is at risk of stroke?
Stroke is more common in adults older than 40 years however even children and babies can have stroke.
Is stroke preventable?
Stroke is preventable if you control your BP, sugar and cholesterol. Stop smoking. Indulge in an active lifestyle and daily exercise to prevent stroke.
How severe can be a stroke?
According to a study done by researchers in 2006 in the USA, a patient with ischemic stroke loses 190, 0000 brain cells every minute, about 14000,000,000 nerve connections are destroyed every minute and 12 km (7.5 miles) of nerve fibers are lost every minute. The end result is the patient is paralysed for life and becomes dependent.
Is there a treatment available for stroke?
Yes. The treatment depends on which kind of stroke the patient has. Up to 85 % of all strokes are ischemic (blocked blood vessel). For ischemic brain attack, there is an option of intravenous medication called tPA (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) available which can be given to the patient within first 3 to 4.5 hours of the symptom onset. The patients who have a blockage in a large blood vessel can be offered a procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, which involves removing the blockage in the blood vessel and restoring the blood supply. This procedure is done through a small nick in the groin and there is no open surgery involved. Recent trials have shown that patients do exceedingly well post mechanical thrombectomy and have a greater chance to live life independently.
Till what time is mechanical thrombectomy given?
Mechanical Thrombectomy can now be offered up to 24 hours from the symptoms onset but, sooner its done better the patient does.
What is the single most important factor in stroke care?
The most important part of stroke care is not the doctor or the hospital, it’s the patient! As most of the strokes are painless, patients tend to ignore their symptoms and hence delay the treatment. If the patient and the family are aware of stroke symptoms they can reach the hospital in time and can get treated.