World Stroke Day
Every year on October 29 is celebrated as ‘World Stroke Day’. Day of
stroke worldwide initiated by the World Stroke Organization (WSO) that
carries the message that ‘a stroke can be prevented and stroke can be treated’.
Theme day worldwide in 2010 year stroke is ‘What can I do?’. A critical
question for anyone who cares about stroke and heart to inspire action.
A challenge for everyone to be able to give a small contribution for the good of stroke services in the world.
The World Stroke Organization (WSO) is calling for urgent and immediate action in the global fight
against stroke by launching the "One in Six" campaign. The theme was identified to mirror today's reality that one in six people
worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime. Every six seconds, someone somewhere will die from a stroke. With the fight against stroke
at a crossroads, WSO members in 92 countries around the world have united to put forth a simple life-saving message on World Stroke Day: Do
not take chances. One in six people is at risk for stroke - it could be you. Learn the facts. Save a life today. Act Now! The campaign is asking
people to commit to six stroke challenges:
- Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure , diabetes , and high blood cholesterol
- Be physically active and exercise regularly.
- Avoid obesity by keeping to a healthy diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.
- Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action.
Stroke is leading cause of death
There are 15 million people who have a stroke each year. According to
the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death for people above the age of 60, and the fifth leading cause in
people aged 15 to 59. Stroke also attacks children, including newborns. Each year, nearly six million people die from stroke. In fact, stroke is
responsible for more deaths annually than those attributed to AIDS , tuberculosis and malaria put together. Stroke is also the leading cause of
long-term disability irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or country.
Three-time Tour de France champion and stroke survivor Alberto Contador
notes "Stroke can attack anytime and at any age. The good news is that stroke can be beaten. Not only can it be prevented, but people who have
experienced a stroke can regain their quality of life with the appropriate long-term care and support. I am an example."
About Stoke by an expert
Explaining all about ‘Stroke’ on World Stroke Day in an exclusive interview to Daijiworld is Dr Rajesh Shetty is given:
Q: What exactly is called a Stroke? What are its symptoms?
A: It is a sudden onset of paralysis of one half of the body or difficulty in speaking or deviation of mouth to one side. It is the
Number 1 cause of disability in the world and the third commonest cause of death.
Q: How does it happen? Are there different kinds of stroke?
A: There care two types of stroke-
1. Ischemic which occurs in 85% of patients
2. Haemorrhagic which is seen in 15% of patients
Q: What is an Ischemic stroke?
A: It is a sudden block in the blood supply to the brain, causing an infarct (damage) to the brain leading to paralysis of one side of the body.
Q: What is Haemorrhagic stroke?
A: It is a sudden rupture of artery within the brain leading to brain
haemorrhage and paralysis of one half of the body.
Q: How exactly the disease can be treated in the best possible way?
A: Urgent reopening of the blocked artery can save the brain and reverse the paralysis and prevent the disability.
For maximum benefit the patient must reach the hospital within 3 hours.
In that case, a drug called rtPA is injected IV into the patient i.e.; injecting the drug through veins of the patient.
After 3 hours the brain damage is hard to reverse and the damage may
become permanent. Hence reaching the hospital within 3 hours is of paramount importance.
Q: If incase the patient fails to reach within 3 hours isn’t there any other alternative? Can any other procedure help out the patient?
A: If the patient reaches between 3 to 6 hours, there is a procedure called IA(intra arterial) rtPA Thrombolysis. Through the groin, a micro-catheter
is passed and taken into the brain where the artery is blocked and then the rtPA drug is injected. The clot is broken up, blood
flow to the brain is restored and paralysis is reversed.
Q: Can you give an example of this kind of treatment done in your hospital?
A patient named Janaki (50) was admitted in the hospital for cardiac valve replacement surgery. When she was in the hospital itself she developed
right-sided paralysis and inability to speak. In her case we could not inject the drug through the veins. Hence the IA rtPA drug was
injected. Immediately the paralysis was reversed and the patient was normal and the very next day she was discharged.
Q: Who is at risk of getting the disease?
A: People with hypertension (BP), diabetes (sugar), Hypercholesterolemia
(increased cholesterol/ obesity), Heavy smokers, one who have family
history of the disease, people with heart disease are more prone to develop stroke. BP, Sugar, Cholesterol and smoking are considered as the
main risk factors of stroke.
Q: How can the disease be prevented?
A: Mainly the risk factors needs to be controlled and regular exercise or brisk walking for 30 minutes a day is adequate to prevent stroke.
Q: Do the stroke patients usually manage to reach the hospital on time?
A: Sadly, only 5% of patients reach the hospital on time despite all the awareness created on the issue.
Q: What is your message to the readers on World Stroke Day?
A: ‘Time is Brain’; ‘Time Lost is Brain Lost’. Reaching the hospital
within 3 hours can save a life. Kindly spread the message to all you care. -
Dr Rajesh Shetty
(Source: Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd Mangalore)