City hospital doctors claim to have successfully treated a 90-year old woman suffering from stroke with intravenous thrombolytic therapy, thereby showing the lack of an age barrier for the treatment.
Harsharan Kaur, a resident of New Delhi, underwent a surgery at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, as she developed complete paralysis of her left arm and leg. She was rushed to the hospital within two hours of the onset of the stroke.
"The patient was critically ill and unconscious, with complete paralysis of her left arm and leg. Initial investigations revealed that there was a large clot in her brain, a condition which often results in life-threatening stroke with coma, or a wheelchair-bound state. After careful assessment of the risk factors, we performed thrombolytic therapy to dissolve the blood clot in the brain," said Vinit Suri, senior consultant, neurology.
Thrombolytic therapy refers to the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots, the main cause of both heart attack and stroke.
"The initial hours are the most important hours for any patient of stroke and only in the first four-and-half hours the patient can be given thrombolysis," Suri said.
"The earlier the patient is brought to the hospital, the greater the chances of saving him. The four-and-half-hour golden period is the reason we could save this lady," he added.
Doctors said a stroke patient above the age of 80 years can be treated. In the last couple of years, over 3,000 patients worldwide have been treated by this method.
The risk of stroke is significantly reduced with lifestyle changes that include cutting down on oily foods, giving up alcohol and cigarettes, so blood pressure and cholesterol levels stay normal, doctors said.