Acute Stroke - A Race Against Time

08 Dec,20

Every 3.3 minutes someone dies of a stroke! Strokes are the third leading cause of death and adult disability worldwide!

In India, every minute a person suffers from a stroke.

The word Stroke (Paralysis or lakva) is derived from the word ‘Strike’ – an analogue to the sudden, severe attack that affects the patient and changes their mortality and morbidity completely, if not treated in time.

It is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually, because a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhagic stroke) or is blocked by a clot (Ischaemic stroke). This cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, causing damage to the brain tissue.

Treatment of Acute Ischaemic stroke and its outcome is time dependent. Rapid injection of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (r-tPA – a thrombolytic / a clot-dissolving injection) in the blood is the earliest treatment. It should be administered within 3 hours of the onset of the above-mentioned symptoms. International guidelines recommend a ‘door-to-needle time’ of 60 minutes or less (the time from entry of a patient in an emergency to the administration of the drug).

Unfortunately, most patients present to Emergency Departments beyond the 3-hour guideline from symptom onset, missing brain and life-saving treatment. Lack of knowledge about stroke among the general public delays the initiation of immediate management of stroke. Delay in the arrival of the patient to the hospital, delayed consent by relatives for thrombolysis and unavailability of emergency ambulance services (especially in rural India) are the major reasons for the delay in treatment. The proportion of stroke patients reaching the hospital within 3 hours in India is only 15%. Less than 20% of the general physicians are aware that r-tPA should be administered within the first 3 to 4.5 hours of stroke onset.

Sarvodaya Hospital & Research Centre, Sector 8, Faridabad is an advanced stroke centre equipped to provide cutting edge care for stroke management - 24/7. Our team of trained emergency physicians, neurologists & neurosurgeons, critical care specialists, radiologists, rehabilitation specialists, nurses and technicians are committed to providing the best treatment for stroke management, and we value every passing second and minute. The hospital is also equipped with a 24 hour MRI facility and a NABL accredited laboratory. With committed team efforts and by carrying out the thrombolysis in the Emergency department itself, we have been able to bring down the door to needle time to less than 35 minutes in most patients with Acute Ischaemic stroke.

A stroke is a life-changing event that affects not only the person who may be disabled but their family and caregivers. This year, the stroke will affect 4 out of 5 families in India - don't let yours be one of them.