It is second leading cause of death, expert says
- Staff Report
Ras Al Khaimah: A neurosurgeon said it is important for everyone to be ‘stroke smart’ and learn the 3 Rs: Reduce risk, recognise symptoms, and respond.
Dr Hillol K. Pal, head of neurosurgery at RAK Hospital, said acute stroke or brain attack is a medical emergency and urgent medical care is key to saving lives.
He cited the case of a 74-year-old man who felt unwell and had difficulty in speaking. He was rushed to the RAK Hospital. The patient had no known risk factors for stroke. A CT scan of the brain was done and it revealed a ‘mini stroke’.
As the patient had reached within the time span for the clot dissolving therapy to be administered, his symptoms reversed completely within 90 minutes, the surgeon said. “This goes to prove that brain attacks can be treated effectively provided the patient reaches the specialised unit in time,” he said. RAK Hospital recently set up a specialised acute stroke unit and has helped treat many patients from the northern emirates and beyond. Stroke is the second leading cause of deaths in the UAE, he said.
“It is critical that the person be in the hospital within one to three hours, known as the ‘golden hour’, in order to reverse the damage.”
Dr Pal said more than 50 per cent of the patients get confused by the symptoms of stroke and wait for these to subside by themselves. Statistically, only 3 per cent of patients with acute stroke worldwide reach the hospital in time for any treatment, he said.
Stroke or ‘brain attack’ occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow in a vessel or when a vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.
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