Stroke is taking over Cardiac and Cancer diseases to be the leading cause of death and disability. With rapid improvements in Neuro Imaging and newer treatments for Ischaemic stroke (due to clot in blood vessel to brain) it is possible to prevent your loved ones from losing speech, limb function, functional and executive abilities. Unfortunately the perception in the public at large and even amongst some healthcare professionals is that stroke is incurable and leads to unnecessary loss of precious lives.
Clot busting drugs can dissolve brain clots and arrest brain damage if given within the first few hours of onset of the symptoms. With each passing minute one loses millions of neurons in the brain by not reaching a well equipped hospital with stroke services and specialist care.
On 01/3/2015 Mr. Mani, was enjoying a casual Sunday until he suddenly lost function in his left hand and leg. His face became droopy and speech became slurred and in minutes he lost total function of his left half of body. His family rushed him to Apollo Hospital at Greams road- Chennai where within minutes of arrival in a military style precision operation, the doctors recognized his stroke and performed brain imaging. Stroke specialists on site administered clot busting drugs in no time but knew the long clot from his carotid artery all the way to his major brain vessels needed the next line of immediate clot removal which is called an Endovascular clot retrieval procedure. As the clot buster was infused, he got rushed to the cath lab where a multidisciplinary team of Interventional radiologist, Neurovascular consultant, Anesthetist and support staff performed a bloodless Key Hole procedure and pulled the clot out to restore blood supply to his starving brain. He is making steady progress and is expected to function at his baseline abilities in the next few days. His whole interventional procedure was completed well within the golden hour for standard intravenous clot busting therapy.
State of the art stroke services at Apollo hospitals combined with the Robotic Rehabilitation therapy unit can prevent death and disabilities to suffers with stroke. We urge everyone who identifies someone with loss of function in face, arm or leg and speech to rush to their nearest stroke centre and not waste valuable time.
Dr Sivarajan Thandeswaran
Consultant Stroke and Neurovascular physician