"Being prepared makes the difference”, this statement is the deciding factor in most medical emergencies, and a patient suffering from a stroke requires timely medical management to avoid long term permanent damage. Why is time so crucial in a stroke and what causes it? A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when there is an interruption in the blood supply to the brain or when there is a rupture in a blood vessel in the brain. This is a serious life-threatening medical condition that requires urgent medical attention, and since this is time-bound every second matters when it comes to the medical management of a stroke patient. A stroke which is also called a cerebrovascular attack (CVA) completely halts the working of the part of the body that is being controlled by the damaged part of the brain.
Fortis Hospital, Kalyan prides itself in being one of the leading hospitals in the Thane Kalyan region with a 24/7 stroke ready and cardiac emergency team. The emergency medical services at Fortis Kalyan that work round the clock ensure every patient gets the required medical attention which is life-changing in most cases.
It is important to understand that all hospitals are not stroke ready hospitals, and this could be the deciding factor in the survival of the patient and long-term permanent disabilities. Before understanding what a stroke is and looks like, it can be helpful to understand the potential signs and symptoms of a stroke attack. The observed symptoms in the patient can differ depending on the severity of the stroke, hence as a bystander, you must know what to look for before you can attempt to help the patient.
F – if the Face is drooping to one side
A – if there is numbness or weakness in the Arms
S – if the Speech is slurred
T – it is Time to act if the above symptoms are visible
Along with the above mentioned symptoms, an episode of stroke can manifest itself in different ways such as blurred vision, numbness on one side of the body, headaches, nausea, loss of consciousness and balance.
It is advisable to not just be a bystander but to attempt to take the patient to the nearest stroke ready hospital because time is of the essence during a stroke and time lost is brain function lost.
Pre-hospital delays is the number one contributing factor to permanent damage in a stroke patient. On arrival at the hospital, the patient has to undergo certain tests to determine whether stroke management and treatment is what is needed. In these crucial moments, only stroke ready hospitals are able to execute these multistep processes and complex treatment pathways effectively. Delays in finding the right hospital diminish the outcome of the treatment and an average of 2 million neurons are lost with every minute delay.
A stroke ready hospital is fully equipped with written care protocols, a dedicated stroke management team, emergency medical services and rapid laboratory and imaging testing, stabilizing and quick transfer of patients.
The stroke management team at Fortis Kalyan is specifically trained in 24x7x365 stroke care and is adept in providing the necessary medical care following all protocols.
The goal is not to transport the patient to the nearest hospital alone, but to ensure that the services available at the hospital are adequate to diagnose and successfully manage the patient. Unfortunately, the most common causes of death and permanent disability in stroke patients are due to the lack of appropriate medical services and lack of awareness among family members and friends. Unawareness of the symptoms of a stroke is also another leading factor. Since it is not possible for the patient to explain his condition during an episode of a stroke it is the responsibility of the family members to recognise the signs and seek medical help immediately.
The time elapsed between transporting the patient from one medical facility to another causes a major loss in crucial life-saving minutes. Hence, the knowledge of the available medical facilities in the vicinity and the services provided is a must for every person, because stroke and other such emergency medical conditions are not planned and require every single minute due to their time-bound nature.