How To Identify A Stroke In Time
It’s always good to be prepared for any eventuality. There are several health conditions that have symptoms, but some are silent. Here’s the catch, even those that appear to happen unannounced, drop in hints before coming, it’s just about observing these hints and acting upon it. One such condition is the acute stroke. To know more about it, continue reading.
What is an acute stroke?
The sudden loss or disruption of blood circulation to an area of the brain, injuring brain cells and tissues, resulting in a corresponding loss of neurologic function is known as acute stroke.
The brain needs a constant supply of blood to deliver oxygen to the thousands of nerve cells that power your thought and functions, a huge amount of brain cells can die within minutes if the blood supply to the brain is disrupted even for a short time. This can result in serious damage that can be permanent because nerve cells cannot regenerate. Hence, identification and prompt treatment can play a major role in increasing the chances of survival and recovery.
What causes an acute stroke?
An acute stroke can be in one of the following three forms:
- Ischemic stroke: The medical term for a lack of oxygen is ischemia. When a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot, or atherosclerosis, which develops because of a build-up of fibrofatty substances in blood vessels, it cuts off the oxygen supply to the tissue causing ischemic stroke. Around 80% of people who have an acute stroke are diagnosed with an ischemic stroke.
- Transient ischemic attack: Occasionally, the blockage in the blood vessel is only temporary which is why it is called a transient ischemic attack often known as a mini-stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: A hemorrhage is bursting of the blood vessel, spilling blood into the brain, blocking oxygen and nutrients to reach the nerve cells. The hemorrhage can increase the blood flow, raising the pressure inside the skull, causing further brain injury.
The severity of an acute stroke depends on which blood vessels are affected. The stroke, if not treated within the first few hours has impacts that can impair functions that cannot be recovered. Hence it is very important to identify the symptoms and get treatment as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of acute stroke?
The symptoms of an acute stroke can develop within minutes. The consequences of strokes are neurological, affecting the sensory and motor functions, some of them are listed below,
- The face droops on one side because of weakness.
- The speech is distorted and the patient may sound confused
- One sided hand and leg weakness/numbness with parasthesias
- May have sudden giddiness, double vision or blurred vision
- Feeling dizzy or uncoordinated so much that you cannot walk
- Sudden onset severe headache with vomiting and altered sensorium
- Feeling nauseated or actually vomiting
What are the Risk Factors?
The most common risk factors for stroke include
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Prior stroke or heart attack
- Lack of physical exercise or activity
- Use of birth control pills or other hormone therapies
- Heavy or binge drinking
- Recreational drug use
What are its treatments?
- Thrombolytic Therapy: The administration of drugs called Clot lytics or “clot busters” to dissolve blood clots that have suddenly blocked your major arteries and pose potentially serious or life-threatening consequences, is called thrombolytic therapy. IV thrombolytic therapy with tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) within FOUR AND HALF HOURS of symptom onset and endovascular therapies using stent-retriever devices are the major treatments for an acute stroke.
- For a hemorrhagic stroke, a combination of blood vessel surgery and medication to reduce cerebral edema and control bleeding may be used and the treatment may include procedures that involve clipping the ruptured aneurysm or placing a coil into an aneurysm in order to diminish blood flow which is known as an endovascular embolization.
When encountered with such a condition, we urge you to rush the patient to the nearest reliable hospital so that stat treatment can be administered to the patient to save him from the bigger threats of the stroke. Our team of doctors at Sunshine are prompt and prepared to provide treatment for such acute conditions and we strive to give our best selves to treat such serious conditions.
About The Doctor:
Dr. Anitha Kotha – Neurologist
After completing her MBBS in 1999 and getting a gold medal from SVS Medical College in Mahboobnagar, Dr. Anitha Kotha went on to become the Diplomate in National Board (DNB) General Medicine at the prestigious Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences(NIMS) for 3 years. After that, she did 3 years course of DM Neurology in NIMS and then worked as a Consultant Neurologist in Yashoda hospital -Somajiguda for 3 years. Dr. Anitha is one of the most experienced Neurologist and is a life member of the prestigious Indian Academy of Neurology and also the Medical Association of India.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma, and Neurology.