World Stroke Day: Experts discuss timely stroke diagnosis, treatment

October 28, 2023 12:40 am | Updated 12:40 am IST

In the run-up to World Stroke Day observed every year on October 29, doctors have stressed the significance of identifying the various signs and symptoms of a stroke and the need to take timely action for medical treatment. At The Hindu’s Wellness Webinar organised on Friday to expound the ways to elevate stroke care and explore cutting-edge approaches to stroke management, doctors from Rela Hospital, Chromepet, Chennai, gave participants an overview about strokes and the risk factors involved, the signs and the symptoms, and the treatment and surgical interventions available.

Interventional neurologist Shankar Balakrishnan explained about the acronym ‘FAST’ (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time) which facilitates for the identification of a stroke. “Arm weakness or slurring are symptoms that are at times ignored,” Dr. Balakrishnan said, adding, “At the hospital (Rela), the doctors would first conduct a rapid clinical assessment, followed by a diagnosis of stroke, and then determine whether it’s a block or bleeding in the brain. Treatment options are explored based on this procedure.”

Dr. Balakrishnan also said that 80% of strokes are preventable, emphasising on the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Senior consultant neurosurgeon M. Anbuselvam spoke about the role of neurosurgery in the management of stroke. “Surgery comes in during the treatment of acute ischemic strokes, acute haemorrhagic strokes and in secondary care for the prevention of strokes,” said Dr. Anbuselvam, mentioning how the various kinds of surgeries are performed. He also shed light on who was at risk of a haemorrhagic stroke.

“We can’t modify our age, sex or race. But there are other factors that can be modified,” said Dr. Anbuselvam, underlying the importance of keeping a check on blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels. He advised against the consumption of alcohol or smoking cigarettes.

The panel included senior consultant neurologist K. Subramaniyan and consultant neurosurgeon J. Jeyaprakashkanna who responded to audience queries and clarifications, including the recurrence of strokes and why surgeries were contraindicated with large bleeds.

Here is a link to the recording:

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