80% of brain stroke patients reach hospital late, says study

It has been medically proven that time window for effective therapeutic intervention is six hours. However, the doctors found that only 17.5% patients reached the hospital within six hours of the stroke.

punjab Updated: Aug 26, 2018 13:00 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
brain stroke,Himachal Pradesh,PGIMER
(webmd)

A recent study conducted on brain stroke patients at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC) in Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, has shown that over 80% of stroke patients reach the hospital after six hours of the onset of the stroke.

The study was conducted by doctors of community medicine practising at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, Chandigarh, Government Medical College, Hamirpur, and a neurologist from RPGMC.

An expert from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) said, “A person suffering from a stroke should reach a hospital within three to four hours as he loses two million neurons every minute. The patients must ensure going to a hospital with a 24-hour computed tomography (CT scan) facility.”

Just 17.5% people reach on time

It has been medically proven that time window for effective therapeutic intervention is six hours. However, the doctors found that only 17.5% patients reached the hospital within six hours of the stroke.

The study says, “Around 82% stroke patients reached a hospital providing tertiary care after six hours of the onset of a stroke. Around 12% patients reached the hospital between three-and-a-half and six hours, and only 5% patients reached within three-and-a-half hours.”

The doctors found that most patients did not receive medical attention in a timely manner because 59.2% of the patients consulted elsewhere before coming to RPGMC.

The study found that 58.3% of the patients consulted a local doctor, in 40.8% cases, the patients consulted hospitals at a distance, and 21.7% were unaware of the symptoms of a stroke.

A doctor said, “People should remember the acronym Be fast— balance, eyes, face, arms, speech, time. Difficulty in maintaining balance, blurry vision, facial weakness (drooping face), weak arms and slurred speech are common symptoms of a stroke and should not be ignored.”

As many as 120 patients were enrolled in the study, of which 60% of the patients were males and 50% of them were 61 to 80 years old .

Findings crucial

The findings of the study are crucial as it has been established by the medical community that each minute lost after the onset of a stroke can adversely affect a patient’s degree of recovery. A stroke occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. The brain cells in absence of oxygen and nutrients begin to die within minutes. Therefore, prompt medical treatment is crucial. A stroke can lead to loss of mobility, however, timely treatment can prevent potential complications.

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 13:00 IST