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Quick Stroke Treatment Can Prevent Disability

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the leading preventable cause of disability. The right care right away can save both lives and quality of life. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, including young people. The quicker you recognize the signs of stroke and seek medical care, the higher your likelihood of having a successful recovery. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify that a stroke is happening.

B.E.F.A.S.T. – Spot Stroke Signs

It is important to remember that a stroke is a medical emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately. If someone you know might be having a stroke, it is important to think B.E.F.A.S.T.

B – BALANCE : Loss of balance or or unsteadiness, sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination

E – EYES : A sudden blurred or blackened vision

F – Face Drooping : Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile is uneven or lopsided?

A – Arm Weakness : Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?

S – Speech Difficulty : Is the speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?

T – Time To Call : If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call for immediate medical attention.

Some other symptoms include sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, and sudden severe headache or dizziness.

The magic number ‘4.5’ hours – the golden period of stroke

The gold standard treatment for ischemic stroke is an injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). This potent clot-busting drug is ideally given 4.5 hours after stroke symptoms begin. For patients who come to the hospital later than 4.5 hours, the doctor may have to remove the clot using an endovascular procedure.

Advanced technology for the treatment of stroke

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. An MRI can detect brain tissue damaged by an ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhages. In addition, Bi-plane DSA offers visualization of blood flow inside brain vessels that is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. With this new technology, minimally invasive endovascular procedures can be performed replacing the need for an open surgery. Doctors may insert a long, thin tube (catheter) through an artery in the groin and thread it to the brain. Then, the catheter can be used to maneuver a device into the blocked blood vessel in the brain and remove the clot.

After treatment care is extremely important

After emergency treatment, stroke care focuses on helping the patient recover as much function as possible and return to an independent life. Bangkok hospital offers personal health management and stroke coordinator in order to provide the best possible care to stroke patients. After receiving emergency treatment, the patient will be admitted to ICU. Then, the doctor will recommend the most rigorous therapy and rehabilitation program based on the patient’s condition. Rehabilitation is very important during the first three months. This involves physical therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive function recovery. Moreover, emotional changes leading to depression can also occur in stroke patients. Our professional team at Bangkok hospital can determine the best course of action in order to improve the patient’s quality of life.

Preventing a stroke

  • Eat healthy food
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Have an annual physical examination – check the blood pressure, blood sugar, electrocardiogram, test for obstructive sleep apnea
  • In people with high risk of stroke, a carotid duplex ultrasound – screening test for blockade or narrowing of the carotid arteries should be done.

A case study

A 60 year old patient lost consciousness after waking up in the morning. The patient was sent to the hospital from Nakorn Pathom. There was a blood clot in the occipital artery. The patient received rtPA injection and had a blood clot removal procedure. 2 hours after the treatment, the patient was able to move arms and legs. 3 days after the treatments, the patient was able to sit. When the patient was discharged from the hospital, he was able to walk. If he did not receive the appropriate treatment immediately, he might not have survived.

Stroke can happen to anyone. It is a major cause of serious long-term disability and the leading cause of death, but quick treatment can save lives and prevent further damage. No one expects stroke to happen. But when it does, Bangkok hospital is more prepared to treat it than any other place. With our talented staffs and innovative medical technology, Bangkok Neuroscience Center is devoted to improve the lives of patients who have suffered a stroke. Also, with cooperation with Oregon Health & Science University in USA, you can ensure that you will receive the best standard of care.