World Stroke Day – October 29th
Whenever stroke and other neurological ailments affect a person, one of the reliable hospitals people living in Coimbatore would naturally step-in is G.Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital.
The reasons are obvious – they have the doctors and staff who are experts in neuro-related procedures and the level of quality provided there has assured patients that they are in safe hands. The technology and infrastructure is kept to the latest level, which has enabled the experts to offer finest care, and most of all since it is a hospital run by a Charitable Trust- G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Charity Trust for Education and Medical Relief, the cost of service remains affordable for people from all walks of life.
It is also a Stroke-Ready Hospital and is available 24/7 to treat stroke issues. In connection with World Stroke Day, (which is observed on October 29th every year) , we had the opportunity to discuss more about Stroke with few of the valued neurologists at the hospital.
Every minute you delay, 2 million neurons die!
– Dr.Rasmiranjan Padhi, Chief, Neuro Interventional Unit, GKNMH.
For Ischemic Stroke (Stroke caused by clots in blood vessels blocking the blood flow in the brain), there are two kinds of treatment – I.V. Thrombolysis and Mechanical Thrombectomy. When the patient arrives within 4.5 hours of Stroke, I.V. Thrombolysis can be helpful but arriving after that time-period or coming with serious and large blood-clots may require Mechanical Thrombectomy.
Time is Brain
As Interventional Radiologists, we make efforts to retrieve the blood clots in the blood vessels present in the brain and re-establish the blood flow.
Due to the blood-clots, several portions of the brain would have been denied of blood-flow and that would have affected its various functions. Every minute the re-establishment of blood flow is delayed, 2 million neurons die.
So we definitely need to help the brain resume its activities by performing interventions if the patient is in need of that. For interventions to be very effective, the patients should come to the hospital on time. Time is Brain, here!
When the patient arrives quicker, we can do the procedure before any complications arise. This contributes much to the patient’s recovery and they can become functionally independent. At GKNMH, we have the State of the Art Bi-Plane Cathlab that is exclusive to Stroke care. This helps us do Mechanical Thrombectomy at a faster pace with precision. Our fastest time for this procedure is 10 minutes – from puncture to recanalization.
Importance of Stroke-Ready Hospital
When Stroke happens, it is very important that you visit a Stroke-ready hospital. Such hospitals will have dedicated cathlabs, full-time neurologists, neuro surgeon, neuro interventional radiologist, anesthesiologists, Intensive Care Facilities and neuro rehabilitation. At GKNMH, we have all these facilities.
The Bi-Plane Cath Lab suite which is latest addition to our armamentarium is dedicated to assist us in neuro-interventional procedures and offer better stroke-treatments. It has been helping us save time (which is a great advantage for the patient) and improves the treatment outcomes.
Be Alert and Be Active
A statistics says that 1 in 4 people will have stroke. A major-emphasis on this year’s World Stroke Day is ‘Don’t be the one.’ You should know that Stroke is one of the leading causes of death. Even if a person survives stroke, there are high chances that he/she may face difficulties like physical disability, difficulty to communicate, impact on work and even loss of employment and income. It may affect the family’s happiness and cause unexpected burdens on a personal and societal level.
When we keep our blood sugar levels, Blood Pressure in control, perform or engage in simple physical exercises and practice taking a healthy diet, we can decrease the risks of stroke among us. Smoking is one of the major risk factors of Stroke. If you or anyone in your family has this habit, kindly end it. It leads to Stroke and creates burdens we cannot imagine! This Covid pandemic has made people stay indoors. Kindly avoid coming out unless it’s absolutely necessary. But if you suspect stroke you should seek help immediately and rush to a nearby hospital capable of doing stroke treatment.
COVID-19 can induce Stroke among patients!
– Dr.Aruna Devi, Neurologist, GKNMH
Stroke or Brain attack is caused as a result of clotting of blood in the blood vessels of the brain or due to leakage of blood from the blood vessels.
It usually occurs in the age group of above 60 years. But with other co-morbidities , stroke can occur in younger age groups too. People with Diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart diseases, atrial fibrillation, congenital heart diseases, and patients with blood dyscrasias are prone to strokes at an earlier age.
Covid and stroke
This Covid pandemic has an impact on stroke incidence. Covid causes stroke by forming small clots in the vessels thereby blocking the vessels. We have started seeing patients who have Covid but no other risk factors presenting with stroke. The blocks can occur within both arteries and veins resulting in arterial and venous strokes. So patients with Covid 19 infection should monitor their D-dimer levels as advised by the doctors and take medicines as advised to avoid these complications. Covid 19 infection also causes more incidence of facial palsies, peripheral nerve palsies, peripheral neuropathies, gullian barre syndrome, demyelinating disorders and viral encephalitis (brain fever) too.
Women and stroke
Women have a comparatively lesser incidence of arterial strokes than men. That is due to the hormones they have till menopause. After menopause incidence of stroke will be the same. But presence of other risk factors like Diabetes / hypertension etc can make the incidence of stroke occur early in women too.
Venous stokes is more common in females than men. This strokes are more common in women who are in their post-delivery time or who are taking oral contraceptives or women who are on hormonal pills for their menstrual problems, more commonly if they also have associated anaemia. So women must be mindful of their contraceptive pills and should not use them without medical supervision.
Drop that unhealthy lifestyle now
Did you know that smoking cigarettes, consuming liquor, being stressed and deprivation of sleep can also cause stroke? Yes, these unhealthy lifestyle practices can trigger stroke easily and it is important that you drop them right now if you follow them.
Take medicines on time
If you are a person suffering from diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, congenital heart disease, you must never stop taking the medications your doctor has prescribed you until the doctor says to stop. You may be a bread-winning member of the family but your stroke impact can indirectly collapse your family – both emotionally and economically.
Know these symptoms
So basically, we know that when the blood flow to the brain is hindered by blood clots or by leakage of blood it leads to stroke. When stroke occurs certain body functions will be impacted. In case if you suddenly feel numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination, severe headache with no known cause, immediately visit a stroke-ready hospital. Every minute you waste will lead to more damage of neurons.
There are few stroke-ready hospitals in Covai offering quality care. Do know them and always remember to be there on time.
Join the Movement and Avoid Stroke
– Dr. G.Gnanashanmugam, Consultant Neurologist, GKNMH
Are men more likely to suffer stroke?
Stroke commonly occurs to both men and women after 40 years of age. However, Premenopausal women carry lesser risk of stroke than men of similar age. Post-menopausal women carry same risk of stroke like men of same age group.
Who are at risk of stroke?
As we age, we all are at risk of stroke. Generally, heart-patients who are taking medicines for heart-attack will have higher risks. People with B.P., Cholesterol and Diabetes will also have stroke-risks. But the biggest threat lies to Cigarette smokers, who will have very high risks.
Are people visiting hospitals immediately after stroke?
The awareness about stroke is less among people because majority of them don’t know that they will have to visit a stroke-ready hospital within 4.5 hours of the incidence. They try to find remedy for the symptoms on their own without knowing it was caused by stroke on the first place and then arrive at the hospital. But in the case of heart-attack, the awareness is more. They come immediately when an attack occurs.
Is it possible to provide complete cure?
There are many types of stroke. When a patient suffers mild stroke, if he could come immediately and take treatment in time, he has high chances of getting completely cured. Delayed arrival will create difficulty in getting complete cure. Some patients with mild strokes will recover in 1 or 2 weeks. But those with severe strokes will need months of time, in few cases, the patient may take even a year to heal wholly. Sad thing is that 30% stroke patients will be affected by disability. All these depends on the severity of the stroke.
Is stroke genetically transferable?
Stroke is not a genetical disease. If a parent had suffered stroke, he won’t be genetically transferring it to his kids but the impact of his genetic component will be present in his children. The stroke-risks for such offspring will be three-times more than other children whose parents did not suffer Stroke. So, such people whose parents had stroke in the past should keep their B.P, Diabetes, Cholesterol under control to avoid any stroke-risks.
Will active lifestyle help us decrease stroke-risks?
Yes. That is true. If we involve in physical activities, we can decrease stroke-risks. Every year, World Stroke Day is observed under a theme. This year’s theme is ‘Join the Movement’. It recommends all to be active. By moving our body and avoiding idleness, we can keep it healthy. You can take any physical activity. It may be yoga or swimming or anything you like to do. The more you do it, the lesser is your risks of stroke. We should remember that Sedentary lifestyle is also a cause of stroke. Being active reduces the risks.