Treating stroke through an integrated approach using audiovisual tools was critical to save time and combat India's biggest killer, an expert said recently.
"The first six hours of the stroke is the golden period when we can save a life. It's the lack of proper medical assistance because of which the stroke victim dies," said Majaz Moonis, neurologist and director of stroke and vascular neurology in Massachusetts, US.
Moonis, an alumnus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has devised a telemedicine programme in Germany that treats stroke patients through television.
"The stroke patient is taken to the nearest stroke centre, where we have a trained medical operator connected to a neurologist. The patient is administered with the medicine that dissolves the clot quickly," said Moonis on a visit to Max Hospital in Saket in south Delhi.
The telestroke centre has roped in eight hospitals in Germany and is trying to reach out to communities to create awareness on preventive care.
Stroke, also known as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), is caused due to blockage of arteries.
"The main worry is that about 10 to 15 percent of people under the age of 40 are affected by the disease now," senior consultant neurologist at Max Hospital Puneet Agarwal told IANS.
The main culprit was lifestyle habits like smoking.
"Youngsters are coming up with diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. This makes the group highly susceptible to stroke," added Agarwal.
The warning signs of stroke are sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs, visual loss, trouble in walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, severe headache and sudden loss of consciousness.