‘Stroke can be reversed in elders with right diagnosis, treatment’

Medication within the golden hour can help, say doctors

October 30, 2021 01:35 am | Updated 01:35 am IST - CHENNAI

At Kauvery Hospital, two persons, aged 91 and 80, were recently treated for stroke and have since recovered.

“The nonagenarian was brought to the hospital with a slight paralysis on the right side of his face, and we proceeded for a CT scan of the brain to rule out any bleeding,” said Sivarajan Thandeswaran, senior consultant, stroke and neurovascular medicine.

“He presented with weakness on the right side of his body and was unable to speak or move his limbs freely. But within a couple of days, with treatment to remove clots in blood vessels and later physio- and speech therapy, he improved and was able to walk,” he said.

“With advanced treatment and technology, a stroke can be reversed, but only with the right diagnosis and right treatment at the right time,” Dr. Sivarajan added.

Prompt treatment

The octogenarian woman, who had developed sudden weakness on the left side of her body and lost consciousness, was evaluated by her family doctor and transferred to the hospital in 35 minutes. A CT scan revealed she had a long clot that was removed using a stent retriever technology. She was discharged a week later and is now stable, Dr. Sivarajan said.

Though stroke is associated with high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and poor lifestyle patterns, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, age is also a major risk factor. People over 60 years are affected.

“The symptoms include weakness of facial muscles, legs or hands, difficulty to move, inability to speak. The first 4.5 hours is the golden period to reverse a stroke attack,” he said. Hospital co-founder Aravindan Selvaraj said during a stroke, the individual should be rushed to the nearest hospital to begin treatment within the golden period.

“Also, there’s a misconception that senior citizens, especially those above 80 years, have lower chances of surviving a stroke. But right diagnosis is required to provide the right treatment as anything which may go unnoticed can lead to further complications or turn fatal,” he said.

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