Andhra Pradesh

‘BE FAST’ is the mantra for identifying strokes early

How do you know that you suffered a brain stroke? What are the signs to look for before you approach a doctor for stroke treatment? These were some of the questions posed by people at an awareness camp organised by KIMS Saveera Hospital here on Thursday as part of the ‘World Stroke Day’ awareness programme.

A headache could be a dominant sign of a developing stroke, but not all headaches are signs of stroke, said neurologist K. Joshua Caleb. The mantra for making the preliminary diagnosis is the acronym ‘BE FAST’ — B for balance, E for eye movement, F for facial changes, A for arm movement, S for speech, and most importantly, T for time.

Reaching out to a medical practitioner within 4.5 hours of such signs is essential to mitigate any further damage to the brain, said Dr. Joshua. Giving examples of three patients, who recently overcame the debilitating consequences due to the alacrity with which they consulted neuro-physicians, Dr. Joshua displayed the video at the time their first interaction on arrival at the clinic and presented them in person at the awareness programme to drive home the message of the importance of the ‘Golden Hours’. Among them were farmers, policemen and businessmen.

Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, which many times become a leading cause of stroke, are modifiable factors and everyone who crosses 40 years of age must keep a tab on these through regular routine health checks, said Tirupathi Kedar, another neurologist who treated those patients.

Currently, ischemic stokes are managed at any small hospital with Alteplase or Tenecteplase injections for diluting the blocks in the arteries and give enough time to reach a higher centre of medical treatment for more complicated cases, he said.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:36:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/be-fast-is-the-mantra-for-identifying-strokes-early/article32976724.ece

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