Stroke-related disabilities including vision loss can be prevented through early detection

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

About 32,000 brain cells get damaged with every second of not detecting a stroke early

New Delhi, 29 April 2019: Acute stroke survivors have a high incidence and prevalence of visual problems, finds a new study, the findings of which are published in the journal PLOS One. Currently, visual problems are often under-reported by survivors of acute strokes. Early visual screening and assessment within 72 hours to one week of stroke onset could prevent the advancement of visual problems.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. The injury to the brain caused by a stroke can lead to widespread and long-lasting problems. It is imperative to detect a stroke early, as with every second that the disease goes untreated, about 32,000 brain cells are damaged.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Time is brain. A patient with suspected stroke or ‘brain attack’ should therefore be shifted to hospital at the earliest and given a clot dissolving therapy. A stroke may result from a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). In others, there could be a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA). About 85% of strokes are ischemic in nature. Some common risk factors for stroke in the country include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and dyslipidemia. These are further insufficiently controlled due to low awareness levels about the disease. Another major challenge in this direction is that treatment for stroke is still evolving in our country.”

The acronym FAST can be used to recognize the warning signs of stroke: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to emergency. The disabilities caused due to a stroke can be temporary or permanent, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part is affected.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Stroke is an emergency and getting timely help and treatment is extremely important. Hence, it is very important to act fast to identify these patients. Early treatment improves the chances of recovery. While one cannot control factors such as race, gender, and genetic predisposition, it is possible to make certain lifestyle changes which will go a long way in reducing a person’s chances of getting a stroke at a young age.”

Some tips to prevent stroke from HCFI

  • Lower your blood pressure levels as a high BP is one of the leading causes for a stroke.
  • Losing weight can help prevent other associated complications.
  • Indulge in about 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Quit smoking and drink in moderation if you must.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels under control.
  • Reduce stress through activities such as meditation and yoga.

All major heart hospitals in Delhi-NCR should take up the Mission Delhi project

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On Thursday (25.4.19), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched ‘Mission DELHI’, an emergency medical service, as part of which a motorbike-borne assistance unit can be quickly summoned for a person suffering heart attack or chest pain.

The pilot project has been launched in a radius of 3 kms around All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and would be linked with Centralized Ambulance Trauma Services (CATS).

Under Mission DELHI (Delhi Emergency Life Heart-Attack Initiative), a pair of motorcycle-borne trained paramedic nurses would be the first responders for treating heart attack patients.

On getting a call, the pair would rush to the spot, gather basic information on the patient’s medical history, conduct a quick medical examination, take the ECG, and establish a virtual connect with the cardiologists at AIIMS and deliver expert medical advice and treatment.

While the emergency treatment is being provided, a CATS ambulance will arrive and take the patient for further treatment.

Even as the patient is on way to the hospital, doctors at AIIMS control center will evaluate the data received from the nurses to establish further course of treatment.

The attempt is to reach patients within 10 minutes. In this project, the clot buster will be given very soon even at home.

This project should not just be limited to ICMR and AIIMS.

Every major heart hospital in Delhi-NCR should take up this project and adopt area of 3 km around their hospital. All should be interlinked.

ICMR should provide them with the working model for implementation of the project for wider reach of this much-needed emergency medical assistance.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA