A stroke or a brain attack is a potentially serious and debilitating condition in which the oxygen supply to the brain gets depleted due to restricted blood flow. A person is also said to have a stroke if a blood vessel ruptures within his/her brain, resulting in a haemorrhage. As per the Indian Stroke Association, brain stroke affects nearly about 1.8 million people in India. Despite it being a leading cause of death in our country, there is a lack of basic awareness about the problem.
A report given by Boehringer Ingelheim India suggests that less than one-fourth of the Indian population is aware of brain stroke symptoms, which roughly accounts for 22 per cent. These rates are quite alarming as timely medical intervention is very crucial for stroke patients and majority of lives are lost because patients are not able to reach hospital on time. Spreading awareness about stroke can help people to understand when they need to seek immediate medical care.
Let's start with a basic understanding of what a stroke is and how it affects a person.
The human brain is a complex organ that performs a wide spectrum of vital functions. It wouldn't be wrong to say that it is the controlling unit of our body that regulates our thought process, emotions, memory, motor skills and other patients. The nutritional requirements of the brain cells are met by the continuous supply of blood, which is regulated by our heart. Sometimes, this blood supply can get disrupted, either due to the bursting of a blood vessel or an obstruction. As this happens, the brain cells stop getting oxygenated blood, which is crucial for their existence, and they start to die.
A stroke has been categorized as a medical emergency as longer the brain doesn't get oxygen, the greater the damage is with about 1.9 million cells dying every minute. Stroke can cause irreversible damage to the brain cells, which can give rise to physical and psychological disabilities.
Be FAST, Act FASTER
By now you must have understood how stroke affects the brain and how dangerous they can prove to be without timely medical intervention. Now, the question is how would you know if a person is having a stroke and needs help?
Every medical condition gives rise to certain symptoms that give us a rough idea that something is wrong. The same goes for stroke as well. The most important thing that you need to remember is FAST, where
Other symptoms that can be an indication of stroke include:
It is very important to understand that these symptoms are common for both males and females. However, the latter may also experience fatigue, disorientation and nausea.
Is it possible to prevent a stroke?
There are ways in which you can bring down your risks of having a stroke but the chances are never completely zero. Here are a few things that may help:
If you wish to know more about stroke, its symptoms and prevention, or want to explore various treatment options available, consult the experts at Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram.
Dr. Sunil Singla
Director and Head of the Department