35-year-old man who had a stroke, undergoes 3 complicated procedures at Chennai hospital

In June, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, a 35-year-old man was rushed to a hospital by his friends, when he had a sudden inability to use his left arm and leg and vision loss in the left eye. Five months later, the man, who was diagnosed with stroke, underwent three complicated procedures and is on the path to recovery, emphasised the need to take care of one’s health with good food and regular exercise.

The patient, Ramkumar, who is undergoing neuro-rehabilitation, is communicating well and is able to walk with minimal support now, launched the Apollo Post-Acute Care Integrated Stroke Rehabilitation Centre and Stroke Support Group on Tuesday.

P.R. Prabash, consultant neurologist, Apollo Specialty Hospital, Vanagaram who diagnosed the patient with stroke, said he reached the hospital within two hours, and an MRI screening revealed a large infarct in the right middle cerebral artery territory. It was rapidly progressing. Doctors did a bridging procedure -- thrombolysis, in which a clot-bursting medication is injected through the veins followed by mechanical thrombectomy in which a wire is passed through the artery reaching the location of the clot to mechanically remove it. He was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit and was put on ventilator support.

A repeat CT scan found swelling in the right side of the brain that was about to compress and damage the left side of the brain. An emergency decompressive craniectomy was performed. His condition gradually improved and he was discharged.

“Nearly 80% of strokes can be prevented if we are aware of the risk factors. Hypertension, diabetes, smoking and alcohol use are among the risk factors. We should make sure to exercise regularly and have a proper diet,” he said. Lifestyle changes, sleep disturbances, high stress levels, changes in diet habits and a sedentary lifestyle were among the causes for strokes in young persons, with air pollution being another key reason.

“It is important to teach persons to identify the signs of stroke and to seek help at comprehensive stroke care centres to avoid wasting time to prevent damage,” he said.

Dr. Prabash noted that post-stroke rehabilitation was a “necessity” and not a “luxury”. “Most of the functions can be retained with good rehabilitation. In Tamil Nadu, we do not have in-patient post-stroke rehabilitation centres. We have come up with a centre and stroke support group,” he said.

Noting that time was brain in strokes, Swatee Halbe, interventional radiologist at the hospital, emphasised the need to reach a hospital capable of treating strokes. Siddhartha Ghosh, senior neurosurgeon, said, “We somehow neglect strokes as compared to cardiac diseases. A part of this is due to less awareness of strokes. Strokes are the second-largest cause of deaths in the country.” The thrombectomy window period has been extended to 24 hours in selected patients, Dr. Prabash added.

Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group, also spoke.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 11:36:43 PM |

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