Each year, on October 29, World Stroke Day serves as a reminder of the staggering impact of strokes on individuals and communities worldwide. Strokes, often referred to as “brain attacks,” are a leading cause of disability and death globally, with millions of lives forever altered by their debilitating consequences.
This day of observance aims to shed light on the importance of stroke prevention, early intervention, and ongoing rehabilitation efforts.
World Stroke Day 2023 Theme
The theme for World Stroke Day 2023, as designated by WSO, is ‘Together we are #Greater Than Stroke.’
Dr Atul Mohan Kochhar, CEO, NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) shares inputs on risks, signs, and symptoms of a stroke.
Dr Kochhar explains, “Stroke is a time-sensitive medical emergency, and every minute can make a difference in the outcome for the patient. Having quality standards ensures that stroke centres provide prompt and organized care, including quick diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and rehabilitation services, and follow established guidelines and protocols based on the latest scientific evidence. This helps in delivering consistent and effective treatments, improving patient outcomes, and reducing variations in care.”
Stroke Cases In India
With approximately 1.66 million new stroke cases every year in India, it is imperative to understand the causes and risk factors associated with this disease. “There are several early symptoms of stroke that can alarm people around the patient. For instance, sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body signals the chances of a stroke. Besides this, trouble in speaking, seeing from one or both eyes, walking along with dizziness, and loss of balance or coordination are identified as the early symptoms of stroke,” Dr Kochhar said.
Common Risk Factors For Stroke
“Hypertension is the most common risk factor for stroke along with diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history of stroke among others. If we talk about gender then many studies suggest the lifetime risk of stroke is higher for women than men, with a 1 in 4 risk of stroke for women after age 25,” Dr Kochhar said.
How To Combat Stroke?
Dr Kochhar shares, “The way forward to combat the burden of stroke worldwide is to enhance stroke care models. Stroke centres with quality standards are required as they are equipped with specialized medical professionals, advanced diagnostic tools, and treatment facilities required for comprehensive stroke care. This enables them to provide a higher level of care compared to general hospitals, leading to better outcomes for stroke patients.”
“In addition, quality standards include rigorous safety measures to prevent medical errors, infections, and complications during treatment. These standards ensure that stroke centres maintain a safe environment and implement processes to reduce the risk of harm to patients. Overall, quality standards for stroke centres are crucial in ensuring that patients receive timely, standardized, and high-quality care, leading to improved outcomes and better overall stroke care delivery,” he further said.