Comprehensive Treatment of Stroke
Stroke is a ‘brain attack’, which suddenly strikes a part of, or whole of the brain causing sudden loss of function. A stroke is caused either due to a blood clot in a blood vessel to the brain or due to rupture of the blood vessel causing leakage of blood into the brain.
Every second lost can increase the life threatening Complications or chances of fatality. So, the need is to be quick and recognize FAST
- Is the Face drooping to one side?
- Can both Arms be raised?
- Is there Speech slurring?
- Then it is Time to call the ambulance
The 3 cornerstones for complete recovery are:
1. Identifying the warning signs
2. Rushing to the hospital within the golden window
3. Choosing the right medical facility with experienced and specialized doctors.
The moment one identifies a stroke, it is critical to choose an appropriate hospital, one that is fully capable of treating the patient. The ambulance should be manned by a trained team of paramedics, who in real time will alert the Stroke team headed by the Stroke Physician.
On arrival, doctors use sophisticated imaging tools like multi-modal MRI or CT Brain with perfusion imaging and select patients who will benefit from advanced clot busting or clot retrieval procedures using hyper-acute stroke pathways. Clot dissolving medication is infused into the vein to dissolve brain vessel clots to restore the flow.
Newer interventional treatments like the Clot retrieval procedures are done for large clots, too big to be dissolved by intravenous thrombolytics. They may also be done for clots in certain larger vessels. In what is also called mechanical thrombectomy, doctors thread a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain. The stent opens and grabs the clot, allowing doctors to remove the stent with the trapped clot.
Mechanical retrieval can help patients upto 12 hours from the onset. However, the outcomes are best when done as soon as stroke strikes, so it is urgent to rush to a hyper-acute stroke centre as early as possible. Mechanical clot retrieval can also help where clot buster is deferred for various medical reasons.
After treatment the patient recovers in the special Stroke ICU equipped with round the clock monitoring and stringent infection control. Intense rehabilitation is started almost immediately. Sophisticated equipment like the Robotic rehabilitation helps in efficient recovery of function of the limbs.
UPDATED ON 24/11/2022