Stroke can be reversed if you reach hospital with in ‘golden hour‘
29th of October is observed as WORLD STROKE DAY, every year. This Day is aimed to bring in awareness towards this unforgiving condition – the Stroke.
Stroke is a devastating disease that cripples not only the person but the family. If untreated or once the stroke is complete – the person is left disabled for life, with paralysis and or difficulty to speak & communicate. In other words, this amounts to professional discontinuity, disconnect from social life and life long dependency.
Stroke is similar to a heart attack or the myocardial infarction, except that it occurs in the brain. A ‘heart attack’ is very dramatic. The person experiences very severe chest pain, chest discomfort, difficulty to breathe, excessive sweating and has a feeling of impending death! Recognition of something very serious is not difficult for the person or the bystanders.
On the Contrary, a stroke is more often silent. The person can develop limb weakness which is difficulty to move his hands or legs, sudden onset visual blurring or loss of vision. Slurring or difficulty to speak, or even lapse into unconsciousness and coma. In majority of the strokes, pain is not a primary presentation. In-fact the symptoms can be so subtle that often a stroke can be missed.
Even when recognized, awareness that these symptoms are stroke may not be registered in the mind of people. The usual thoughts are – lets wait for some time, hopefully the symptoms improve. This is the awareness that I want to bring in, The Concept of GOLDEN HOUR.
If a person reaches the right hospital which is stroke ready, in right time, the stroke can be reversed.
Clot dissolving drugs can be used within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke, up-to 6 hours, the clot can be mechanically removed by Intervention. Depending on specific cases this intervention can be performed up-to 12 hours.
So recognize your nearest stroke center. A stroke center is one which has 24/7 Emergency services with an In-house MRI to diagnose stroke quickly, followed by Thrombolysis in an equipped Neuro Intensive Care Unit (NEURO ICU) with closed monitoring by stroke trained Nurse Practioner’s under the supervision of a Stroke Neurologist. Availability of Cath Lab, to perform angiogram and remove the clots by way of Neuro-Intervention is of paramount significance. Because Time is brain, and delay in initiating treatment is Brain lost for ever.
Prevention is better than cure. This phrase is most apt for stroke. Here are the Ten Commandments to follow in life to prevent a stroke :
1. Respect your biological clock: which means follow a discipline in life. Sleep & wake cycle should follow natural patterns. Else they add to endogenous Stress.
2. Sleep: very essential to recharge the mind and the body. Chronic sleep deprivation adds to Stress.
3. Exercise and walking is a must to maintain good circulation and improve positive energy.
4. Sitting is the new smoking. Prolonged sitting has been the norm of todays life. We cannot compensate with activities on week ends, it has to be a every day effort to ‘move’.
5. Salt is a natural killer as it contributes to hypertension; avoid excess salt.
6. Smoking is asking for trouble. Apart from cancers, smoking causes heart attacks, respiratory disorders and Stroke!
7. Avoid junk foods. The processed foods are tasty, but are nasty to heart to brain.
8. Include deep breathing exercises as part of routine. They help build up oxygen reserves in the body. They increase circulation to brain and heart.
9. Socialize, laugh out loud. Don’t be a couch potato. Don’t live in virtual world. Move around. They release positive endorphins which revitalizes brain and reduces stress.
10. Get prompt treatment to lifestyle disorders such as hypertension and Diabetes – on time.
Stroke awareness helps us combat this dreadful condition; spread awareness to spread smiles.