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Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Vangaram has launched a Hotline service for stroke and other medical emergencies - ApolloNeighbourhoodConnect

26 Jun 2019

Stroke is the second leading cause of death or disability after Ischemic Heart Disease. Immediate medical intervention in a 'Stroke ready hospital' could reverse the effects of stroke in a patient who enters ER within the window period. Dr. Prabash, Consultant in Neurology and Stroke Specialist, Apollo Hospitals, Vanagaram recently completed complicated procedures on four patients who presented themselves with stroke symptoms. More than 50 patients have been successfully thrombolysed (clot lysing procedure) in the hospital over the past 2 years.

Mr. Satheesh Kumar (32-year-old), Mr. Arun Radhakrishnan (42-year-old) and Mr. Deepak Kumar Nair (40-year-old) and Mrs. N. Saraswathi (73-year-old) were brought to Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Vanagaram recently with symptoms of Stroke. Dr. Prabash, Consultant - Neurology and Stroke Specialist, Apollo Hospitals, Vanagaram and his team performed procedures which has resulted in reversal of stroke symptoms in all the patients. Intravenous thrombolysis helps in lysing the blood clot in brain's blood vessels of the patients. Mechanical Thrombectomy is a revolutionary procedure which has made a paradigm shift in the management of stroke. Here, the blocked vessel is accessed through a small arterial entry in the groin region, and the clot is physically removed. This results in reversal of blood supply to the brain which in-turn reverses the stroke symptoms. If done on time, patients can have complete recovery. A patient with stroke symptoms should be treated within the window period. Window period for thrombolysis is 4.5 hours and for thrombectomy, the window period has been recently increased from 6 hours to 24 hours (In selected patients). Three among the four patients mentioned above were brought to the hospital within the window period which helped in their remarkable recovery. Apollo Specialty Hospitals Vangaram, has recently launched ApolloNeighbourhoodConnect, a hotline service for the various neighborhood communities around the hospital, connecting people to the hospital for emergency medical support.

Presenting the cases, Dr. Prabash, Consultant in Neurology, Apollo Hospitals Vanagaram said, "The awareness about stroke is abysmally low in India. The change in lifestyle and socio-economic conditions have increased stress and altered food habits, increasing the chances of developing hypertension and diabetes. This has in turn resulted in an increased number of NCD's especially stroke in India. We are seeing an alarming rise in stroke cases in Chennai and everyone needs to be aware of this condition, its causes, symptoms and treatment options. Also awareness about the nearest "stroke ready centres" – i.e. hospitals which can perform emergency thrombolysis and thrombectomy round-the-clock is pretty important. Early signs of stroke are usually discarded by people and medical help is sought after irreversible damage is already done. Stroke can be prevented by leading a healthy and stress-free life. He signed off by saying "good news is that, 80% of strokes are preventable by judicious management of risk factors for stroke"

The major stroke symptoms can be remembered by the acronym BE FAST. B-sudden loss of balance /instability, E- sudden (eye) visual disturbances, F- Facial asymmetry, A -arm or leg weakness, S-difficultly in speaking. T denotes the importance of time in the management of stroke.

Tips for Stroke prevention-

Management of high blood pressure, Avoiding smoking (including passive smoking), avoiding heavy alcohol consumption, prompt management / preventive checkup for any cardiac issues, prompt evaluation and management of symptomatic/asymptomatic carotid artery disease (a pair of the major blood vessels taking blood from heart to the brain), blood sugar control, management of cholesterol, having a healthy diet, avoiding physical inactivity, daily exercises (30 - 45 minutes of brisk walking daily), aiming for a healthy body weight and maintaining a good sleep hygiene. Other risk factors which can be controlled include avoiding illegal drug usage, certain medical conditions and managing stress and depression.

An independent research indicates that Stroke accounts for 5.7 million deaths worldwide and approximately 1.6 million people in India have a stroke every year, where nearly one third is left permanently disabled. A recent study states, 84-262 per 100,000 persons in rural India and 334-424 out of 100,000 populations in cities suffer strokes. Stroke can cause permanent disability and can leave a patient immobile, cause difficulty in communication and impair their vision.

There are mainly three types of strokes including:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs due to blockage or clot formation in blood vessel of the brain. The obstruction in the blood vessel occurs to due to development of fatty deposits in the linings of blood vessels. Around 80.2% strokes cases in India fall under this category.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by ruptured blood vessels, which leads to bleeding in the brain. 17.7% strokes in India Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for.
  • Transient Ischemic stroke (TIA) also called as a mini-stroke and is temporary, caused by the formation of blood clot. This kind of stroke may last for a few minutes or a day, and may show temporary symptoms.