Most people do not know the five warning signs of a stroke and what to do if they suspect one. This was the research finding from a presentation at an International Stroke Conference in San Diego,California today. This aside, from my personal interactions with members of the public, quite a few did not also know that a stroke has nothing to do with the heart.
Briefly, a stroke is either due to bursting or blockage of one of the blood vessels in the brain, causing possible permanent injury to the part of the brain that is affected.
What are the warning signs?
The research study confirmed what many doctors know : most people do not know the 5 warning signs that herald an impending stroke. If only they did; because if treatment is given early in hospital, quite a bit of the permanent complications could be minimised, if not avoided.
Why the Urgency To Get To Hospital?
Because stroke is a medical emergency. If given through the veins within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke, by dissolving the clot that caused the blockage. In some cases, the stroke may be completely cured. Read more here.
In areas where ambulance service is poor, it makes sense to get to the hospital as soon as you can…because time lost is brain lost.
See also my latest article “Striking Away Stroke”