A stroke is a condition where the blood supply to the part of the brain is reduced or blocked, affecting its oxygen and nutrient supply. The main cause is a blood clot in the artery supplying the brain (ischemic stroke).
Without oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die. Hence, stroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment. Early action can significantly reduce damage to brain cells and other complications.
Let’s understand how timely intervention helps anyone with stroke.
Symptoms Of Stroke
To get timely treatment, it’s essential to understand what stroke looks like. While it may not always be easy to pick up stroke, look out for the following symptoms:
- Face: One side of the face drops while smiling
- Arms: Try to raise both arms. You may find it difficult to raise one arm, or the arm drifts downwards.
- Speech: You may have strange or slurred speech
- Time: If you or anyone has the above signs, it’s recommended to seek emergency medical care.
Relevance Of Time in Acute Stroke Management
According to the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association: “Time lost is brain lost.
Once you reach the hospital, the doctor will ask for your medical history and when you noticed them. They will also run brain scans to understand the type of stroke you have.
As discussed above, the earlier the treatment, the lesser the complications.
Do what does early mean?
Research shows that seeking medical treatment within 3 to 4.5 hours of an acute ischemic has a better outcome. Medical intervention in the mentioned time frame allows the doctor to treat you with a type of clot-busting medicine, known as Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)
Getting tPA significantly improves your chances of recovering from a stroke. Studies have shown that people getting tPA have a lesser disability than people not getting tPA. Patients who receive timely tPA have lesser need of long-term care in the nursing home.
The newer treatment Mechanical Thrombectomy can be done even upto 24 hours but not in all patients. It is an excellent technique to treat stroke especially if large artery is blocked. However like tPA earlier the Thrombectomy is done better is the clinical outcome of stroke patients.