Facts about Stroke
- Stroke is the 5th
leading cause of death in the U.S as well as the leading cause of
- In India, the
estimated prevalence of stroke is 334-424/100,000 in urban areas and
84-262/100,000 in rural.
- The highest case
fatality is in Kolkatta at 42%
- There are three
types of strokes
- Ischemic stroke where a blood clot prevents blood from reaching the
stroke where a blood vessel breaks and the
blood spills into the brain.
- Transient ischemic attacks are when
there is a temporary disruption in blood being carried to the brain.
The lack of awareness
about treatment options for stroke results in increased fatality rate and poor
chance of improvement in the condition of a patient affected by stroke. The
theme which calls for an increased awareness about the existence of treatment
options for stroke is a deliberate attempt to focus attention on identifying
early symptoms that signal the need to take the patient to the emergency
Early Signs of Stroke
A patient who suffers a
stroke displays early warning signs that can be used to detect the condition
early and, most importantly, to take the patient to the hospital, where
emergency care could prevent further progression of the condition.
paralysis - There may be sudden numbness on one or both the
sides of the face
- Eyes - There could be loss of vision in one or both the
- Speech - Slurred speech.
- Hands - When both the hands are asked to be raised, the
person may be unable to raise one or both the hands.
Treatment Available Following a Stroke
There are treatment
options that are available for stroke survivors that include:
- Drug to dissolve the clot:
The patient may be administered with drugs that are used to remove the
clot and allow the flow of blood. The drugs should be given within 4 and a
half hours of being affected by a stroke.
- Mechanical thrombectomy:
The clot is physically removed by the doctors to allow blood flow.
- Rehabilitative therapy:
Rehabilitation is key to
surviving a stroke. It is important to remember that rehabilitation begins
in the hospital but it should be continued even at home. The patient should
be encouraged to be as independent as possible to keep the brain
functioning well and to encourage movement. There are many cases where
stroke survivors regain control over their actions.
- Psychological counseling:
The increased dependency of a stroke victim could diminish the spirit of a
stroke victim and psychological counseling will come to their aid. There
are many equipments that are available to ensure that the patient can use
to be relatively independent, depending upon the extent of the stroke.
It is important to learn
the signs of stroke which will aid in identifying a person undergoing a stroke
and to take the patient to emergency care. There is a 1 in 10 chance of an
individual having another stroke, therefore modification in the lifestyle is an
A stroke survivor should
- Quit smoking
- Stay active
- Eat well
- Stay away from
- Stay close to
family and friends
In India, there are
significant factors that prevent access to expert medical care following a
stroke and they include lack of awareness about the early signs of a stroke,
absence of care in rural areas, inability to afford medical treatment and delay
in reaching medical facilities.
This World Stroke Day is
a great time to identify reasons that result in non-availability of medical care
at the critical time and to device corrective measures which will facilitate
- Face the Facts - Stroke is Treatable - (http://www.worldstrokecampaign.org/learn/face-the-facts-stroke-is-treatable.html)
- World Stroke Day - (http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/General/World-Stroke-Day_UCM_444999_SubHomePage.jsp)
- What is Stroke? - (http://www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/what-stroke)
- Stroke - General Information - (https://medlineplus.gov/stroke.html)
- Stroke Epidemiology and Stroke Care Services in India - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3859004/)
- Fifty Years of Stroke Researchers in India - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4782523/)