Stroke is one of the biggest causes of death worldwide. According to estimates, one person suffers from a stroke every two seconds, with a death happening every six seconds. It is critical that people who suffer from a stroke be admitted for treatment as early as possible.
The importance of three hours
In a study conducted at the University of California, researchers wanted to discover the time period within which a patient had to be treated to ensure the best possible recovery rate. The team reviewed incidents involving almost 1,200 stroke patients who had suffered from ischemic stroke, a type of stroke in a major artery that ends up cutting off blood supply to the brain.
“Time makes a big difference. Every four minutes that goes by after a patient gets to the hospital, one fewer out of 100 patients has a good outcome if the artery hasn’t been opened… If you get the artery open at three hours, then 65 percent of patients will be able to live independently three months later. If it takes eight hours to get it open, then only 45 percent will be able to live independently. It makes a major difference in outcome,” Dr. Jeffrey Saver, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the University of California Los Angeles, said to VOA News.
The reason a stroke patient needs to be treated as soon as possible is because of the lack of blood supply in the brain. In such a situation, brain cells start to die off. Unfortunately, someone who is experiencing a stroke will not be able to speak or even recognize the fact that they are going through a stroke. As such, they will likely not be able to contact emergency care services on time. That responsibility falls on the people around them.
Preparing for stroke
If any of your family members is susceptible to stroke, it is important that the rest of the family are aware of the signs and how to deal with it.
Someone who is undergoing a stroke will have their face drooping on one side. And if they smile, it will be uneven. One of the arms will likely be weak. As such, when the person tries to lift both arms simultaneously, one of them will start drifting downwards. The person’s speech will be slurred and they won’t be able to repeat even a simple sentence accurately.
You should immediately call 911 if you notice any of these signs. Note down the time when the stroke symptoms first appeared. Even if the symptoms go away and the person looks fine, it is better to call in medical services and get them admitted.
As far as the stroke patient is concerned, they must always carry with them important contact numbers, including those of their doctor and closest relatives. This way, even a stranger who wishes to help them during a stroke will know whom to contact.
The person must also carry a note mentioning all the medications they take, including the dosage. A brief medical history should be written in the note so that doctors can understand the patient’s situation when they are admitted for emergency care and none of their relatives are around.