Coimbatore: In India, the number of stroke cases has risen due to the sedentary lifestyle, consumption of junk food which causes obesity, and the relative increase in the number of smokers. Considering the mounting burden of strokes, city-based experts stress on the importance of stroke awareness and highlight identifying stroke as a public health priority.
“A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted through either a blocked blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke) or a ruptured or burst blood vessel in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Depending on the severity of the stroke and on which part of the brain is injured, loss of brain function, bodily function or death may occur. Motor function, speech and memory are examples of bodily functions that may be impacted.” Dr. Mathew Cherian, head of department, Radiology, Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital (KMCH), said.
Elaborating further, Dr. Cherian said, “In my clinical practice, we see four stroke cases every day. The major concern is the lack of awareness on stroke, and hence, patients go to nearby nursing homes which are not equipped with 24/7 essential services such as CT scan, MRI and radiology department.
This causes delay in treatment which results in permanent disability and in some cases even death.
Hence, it is essential to reach a hospital which is fully prepared to treat stroke patients, as soon as a person starts exhibiting symptoms like one side drooping of the face, inability to raise one’s arm fully, slurred, repeated and drunk-like speech and symptoms of confusion.
India as a country should address stroke management as a public health priority and become stroke ready by providing infra-structurally equipped hospitals, ambulances and state-of-the-art facilities to treat the condition, the doctor said.
He also added, “Stroke cases in women and youngsters have surged due to rise in women smokers, practice of early hysterectomy, early menopause, stressful and sedentary lifestyle.”
With recent advances in medicine and technology, stroke can be managed effectively with compliance to treatment and lifestyle changes.