Recently we observed world stroke day. Stroke is one of the commonest cause of hospitalisation in Neurology wards. It can occur at any age and any time to any one any where. Every 1 out of 4 people can have stroke.
Wherever I go I hear many myths about stroke. Even educated people have much misconception about stroke. First I will answer common questions on stroke.
are strokes hereditary – not every, some
are strokes fatal – yes, definitely
are stroke and heart attack the same – no
are strokes painful – not always
are strokes preventable – yes definitely
are strokes common – yes
are strokes dangerous – yes
are strokes caused by stress – may be
can stroke be cured – yes
can stroke cause death – yes
can stroke be treated – yes
can stroke come again -yes
can stroke cause paralysis – yes
can stroke cause coma – yes
Then I will debunk the myths of stroke.
Not only elderly, young people, children, newborns every one can have stroke. We have seen cases of stroke occuring to babies even before birth. But the causes of stroke vary widely in different age groups.
Broadly stroke is two types. Sometimes the blood is obstructed in the arteries of brain. So some parts of brain don’t get blood. And that part of brain is wasted. We call it ischemic stroke. Sometimes due to high pressure or any cause the blood vessels of brain rupture, causing brain hemorrhage. We call it hemorrhagic stroke.
In many cases we get a mini stroke. It’s like a little stroke but improved on its own. The patient will feel sudden weakness in one hand but it will improve within 24 hours. Some people will get facial deviation some will have problem in balance some will have change in speech. But it will improve on its own after 24 hours. We call it Transient ischemic attack in short TIA. If someone is having that, he/she will go to big stroke definitely. We must treat those patients to prevent large strokes.
Now how to know if we are going to have a stroke? It’s not that difficult. Anyone can know. There is a beautiful mnemonics for that. BEFAST in short we can remember also FAST. If you or any person close to you is having sudden onset loss of balance, blurring of vision, one side drooping of face, weakness of arm, speech difficulty. So don’t waste time. It’s an emergency. Call ambulance and go to nearest emergency and meet a good Medicine specialist or Neurologist. Neurologists can reverse the stroke, if presented early.
The main factor is time. That’s why we tell Time is brain. If you loose time, you loose brain. And stroke causes permanent damage. So never delay. BEFAST….SAVE THE BRAIN