Stroke & Covid 19

Stroke, one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, can happen to anybody at anytime and anywhere. However, stroke is preventable. With the ongoing global pandemic and major prevelance of Covid 19 infection it is very important to understand the Neurological effect of covid -19 viruses. Though not fully established ,however many factors such as lack of oxygen supply to brain ,inneffective  immunue response and problems related to blood clotting is often associated with the occurance of stroke  in covid 19 patients .

This World Stroke Day (29th October), learn more about stroke, its symptoms, risk factor, prevention and relation with covid 19. 

Q: What is a stroke? 

Ans: Stroke is a brain attack which occurs when there is a blockage in the blood supply to brain. Due to the interruption in blood supply, the brain does not get sufficient oxygen or nutrients which in turn cause the brain cells to die. 

Q: How many types of Strokes are there? 

Ans: There are mainly two types of strokes; Haemorrhagic or Ischemic. Haemorrhagic stroke is caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. On the other hand, Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain that carries oxygen and nutrients through blood is blocked due to blood clot.

Q: What are the symptoms of Stroke?

Ans: Stroke is a medical emergency. Understanding the first signs of stroke can help you act quickly and lower the risk of brain damage. .  Know the FAST technique to recognize stroke. If you experience these symptoms, make sure to seek immediate medical attention: 

F – Face drooping: sudden numbness or weakness of the face – ask the person to smile – is the smile uneven?

A – Arms:  weakness or numbness in the arms legs & face – ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? 

S – Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding – ask the person to repeat a simple sentence – is there any speech difficulty?

T- Time – If you find any of the above symptoms act fast and take the person immediately in a nearby hospital where acute stroke treatment facility is available.

Other symptoms of stroke- 

  • Sudden trouble in vision & walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Seeing more than one reflection of an object 

Q: What are the Risk factors of stroke?

Ans: Many people are predisposed to these primary stroke risk factors: (Non Modifiable)

  • Increasing age
  • Gender
  • Family history 
  • Ethnicity 

 Other risk factors, many of which you can control (Modifiable) include: 

  • Smoking cigarette 
  • Alcohol consumption
  • High blood pressure 
  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • Dyslipidemia (increased cholesterol)
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • Cardiac diseases
  • Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis

Q: What are the Steps to lower the risk of Stroke?

Follow these steps to significantly lower your risk of strokes and encourage your loved ones to do the same: 

  • Regular health check-ups
  • Eat healthy & balanced diet
  • Stay physically active
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check
  • Quit smoking

Q:What is Window Period?

Ans: Every second is important in stroke. Within a second billions of brain cells can get damaged and once they are damaged, they cannot be repaired fully. But remember, within 4 and half hours of stroke if you admit the patient to a proper set-up and start thrombolysis treatment, there are possible chances for less brain damage and lesser disability of the patient. This 4 and half-hour’ time period after stroke is known as Window Period.  

Q: What is Thrombolytic Therapy?

Ans: In case of ischemic stroke, Tissue Plasminogen activator injection is administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms to dissolve the clots and revive the normal blood supply to brain with the clot busting injection, this is called Thrombolysis therapy. Giving thrombolysis in right time can help patient recover soon and limit damages and disabilities related to Stroke.  Often pateints with paralysis too can be seen recovering from this therapy.

Q: Is there any connection between COVID 19 & Stroke? 

Ans: Recent ICMR guidelines state that corona virus can also affect the central nervous system. A recent study from North-western University in the United States says that symptoms such as convulsions and strokes can also be seen in COVID positive patients. 

Coronavirus is an RNA virus that infects the human body rapidly by increasing the ‘viral load’ and possibly leading to an ineffective immune response. This results in the dysregulated activation of Coagulation Cascade in the affected person’s body. In simple words, blood begins to clot in different parts of our body. Blood clots form in the veins and sub-veins of the lungs, heart and even the brain. As a result, older patients with COVID 19 infection often suffer from heart attacks, strokes or pulmonary thrombosis.

At Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre we are ready 24 * 7 to help you out with immediate treatment for stroke ensuring world class safety standard and infection control protocol. Our expert Neurology & Neurosurgery department facilitates thrombolysis treatment along with stroke management, surgical intervention and post stroke rehabilitation program. Do not delay your treatment. For any emergency reach us on our 24*7 emergency helpline number 0353 660 3030.