There is need for timely access to quality stroke treatment: Dr Kaustubh Mahajan

Our Bureau, MumbaiFriday, October 29, 2021, 17:20 Hrs  [IST]

There is need for timely access to quality stroke treatment and over 2 million neurons can die in a minute during a stroke, stated Dr Kaustubh Mahajan, consultant, neurology at P D Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Khar.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted, depriving the brain of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die in minutes. This interruption in blood supply is caused by a blood clot in the arteries supplying blood, which is frequently caused by build-up of plaques (atherosclerosis).

Stroke symptoms include slurred speech, unexpected difficulty in speaking and understanding, weakness or numbness of the face, arms, or legs, headache, vomiting, dizziness, and blurred vision in one or both eyes.

“Strokes are treated in three ways. The first is through emergency IV clot buster medicine, which is given within 4.5 hours of the onset of the first symptoms. The second treatment is emergency endovascular intervention, which involves the passage of a catheter and mechanically removing the clot and restoring the circulation to the affected parts of the brain. The third way is conventional blood thinners like aspirin, which are started so that the clot does not increase in size and the patient recovers slowly. Of all these treatments, the first two are the best when started as early as possible,” stated Dr.Kaustubh Mahajan.

In India, every 40 seconds a person suffers from a stroke, and every second during a stroke, millions of neurons are damaged.

According to the Indian Stroke Association (ISA), the prevalence of stroke is increasing in India, with up to 18 lakh stroke cases reported each year.

Dr. Mahajan stated that the earlier the patient presents, the better the treatment can be offered, and the better the outcome and centres where CT and/or MRI facilities and neurologists are available are better equipped to handle stroke emergencies. Awareness at public level that stroke or paralysis is reversible if treated early, going to a nearby stroke designated centre.