One Indian on every 20 seconds (or three every minute) suffers a brain stroke and the numbers are increasing alarmingly due to changing lifestyles.
This revelation came at the ongoing three-day Fourth Congress of Society of Neuro-Vascular Intervention (SNVICON) Mumbai 2019, with international participation, in Mumbai on Saturday.
It was further revealed that with the current rate around 1.54 million Indians are affected by strokes every year and the worse is 90 per cent of stroke patients event failed to reach the hospital on time.
The lifetime risk of stroke after the age of 55 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men, it was further stated.
“The message was simple but alarming – in India, the numbers of brain strokes are increasing and it would not be wrong to say they are lifestyle-related,” unanimously said a number of speakers who spoke at the SNVICON.
It is worth mentioning here that popular Bollywood actors – Jackie Shroff and Sanjay Dutt – came out in support of India’s neurological fraternity to spread the message and awareness that “stroke is beatable”.
“As a healthy heart, a healthy brain is important, for which precautions need to be taken,” said Dr Anil P Karapurkar, Breach Candy Hospital’s Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Interventional Neurosurgeon.
“In case of a heart attack, it is either you are gone or you recover. In case of a brain stroke, you may be gone, you may recover and come to normal, or you become dependent for life,” Karapurkar warned.
“In case of a heart attack, there are half a dozen basic symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness, pain in left shoulder and upper abdomen, but in case of strokes, symptoms may vary depending on which side of the brain is affected,” Karapurkar further explained.
“Stroke is a sudden loss of function of a part of the body. It can happen out of the blue. The simple rule to follow in case of a stroke is – ‘BE FAST’ – Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time,” Karapurkar advised.
It is worth mentioning here that if a person suffers from problems in balancing, hoarseness in voice, sudden loss of vision, drops an object, giddiness, the first thing is to rush him to a hospital without wasting time.
Karapurkar further cautioned that treatment for brain strokes cannot start at home and a CT Scan or an MRI Scan is necessary, and since 2015, doctors follow a protocol of CT plus angio or MRI plus angio to tackle such cases.
It may be mentioned here that the neurological fraternity is now contemplating launching a massive outreach programme with family doctors and general practitioners to create more awareness about how to deal with brain stroke emergencies.
The SNVICON also saw the latest technologies being deployed for treatment of stroke. A new web device was also launched.