90-year-old bounces back after massive stroke

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 05, 2013 01:23 IST

A 90-year-old woman's stroke was successfully reversed by doctors using medicines that normally are not given to patients above 80 years of age. 

Harsharan Kaur, who was rushed to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital's emergency unit from her Faridabad residence more than two weeks ago, had suffered a massive brain attack that had completely paralyzed the left side of her body.  

"She had typical symptoms of a stroke and fortunately for her, the family did not waste any time and brought her to the hospital within the golden hour," said Dr Vinit Suri, senior consultant, department of neurology, at the hospital.

She was treated with thrombolytic therapy wherein medicines are used to break up or dissolve the blood clot causing stroke. "Initial guidelines for giving the drug to stroke patients had the age group between 18 and 80 years as the treatment outcome in very old people wasn't good. But guidelines are changing and medicines are being tested on elderly and children as well," said Dr Suri.

One of the reasons that encouraged doctors to try the drug on Kaur was that she did not suffer from any of the co-morbid conditions that people her age suffer from. "All her vital parameters were under control and she came across as a sharp and active person, so we took the chance.," said Dr Priyadarshini Pal Singh, head, department of emergency medicine.

The medicine is effective when it is given within 4-and-a-half-hours of the attack and sooner the better. "The therapy works by dissolving a major clot quickly which helps restart blood flow to the brain and helps prevent damage to the brain tissue. If the golden hour passes then the brain is damaged beyond repair," said Dr Suri.


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