After a stroke, man undergoes three complicated procedures

Ramkumar with Suneeta Reddy and the other doctors at the launch of the rehabilitation centre.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In June, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, a 35-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with a sudden inability to use his left arm and leg, and loss of vision in his left eye.

Five months later, the man, who suffered a stroke, underwent three complicated procedures and is on the path to recovery.

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

P.R. Prabash, consultant neurologist, Apollo Speciality Hospital, Vanagaram, who diagnosed the patient with stroke, said he reached the hospital within two hours of the attack. The MRI screening revealed a large infarct in the right middle cerebral artery territory. It was rapidly progressing.

The doctors did a bridging procedure — thrombolysis — in which a clot-bursting medication is injected through the veins, followed by a mechanical thrombectomy, in which a wire is passed through the artery to reach the location of the clot and mechanically remove it. He was then shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and was put on ventilator support.

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

Risk factors

“Nearly 80% strokes can be prevented if we are aware of the risk factors. Hypertension, diabetes, smoking and alcohol are among the risk factors. We should exercise regularly and have a proper diet,” Dr. Prabash said during the launch of the centre.

Lifestyle changes, sleep disturbances, high stress levels, changes in dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle are among the causes for stroke in young persons. Air pollution is another key reason. “It is important to teach persons to identify the signs of a stroke and seek help at comprehensive stroke care centres to avoid wasting time and to prevent damage,” he said.

Dr. Prabash said 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 the centre and a stroke support group,” he added.

Noting that time was brain in strokes, Swatee Halbe, interventional radiologist at the hospital, laid emphasis on 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 it is due to less awareness about strokes. Strokes are the second largest cause of deaths in the country.”

The thrombectomy window period has been extended to 24 hours for selected patients, Dr. Prabash added.

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

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:40:50 PM |

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