“Navigating the Storm: Dr. Mohana Rao Patibandla’s Insights on the State of Stroke in India”

Attention India
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"Navigating the Storm: Dr. Mohana Rao Patibandla's Insights on the State of Stroke in India"

29th October 2023,Mumbai: World Stroke Day is October 29, 2023. It’s an opportune time to reflect on the current state of stroke in India, its risk factors, treatment options, and the need for increased awareness. I am Dr. Mohana Rao Patibandla, fondly known as Dr. Rao, who practices at Dr. Rao’s hospital in Guntur, India. I am a seasoned neurosurgeon and endovascular stroke specialist with over two decades of experience, including training in the United States. I’m honored to share my insights on this pressing matter.

Stroke Burden in India:

Stroke is a significant health concern in India. The burden of stroke is substantial, with millions affected by this devastating condition. While we have made strides in healthcare, the challenge remains formidable. The prevalence of stroke varies across regions, emphasizing the need for targeted intervention strategies. Stroke is preventable in 80% of cases with proper care.

Risk Factors:

The risk factors for stroke are multifaceted and encompass lifestyle choices, genetics, and comorbidities. Hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are among the leading contributors. Addressing these risk factors is pivotal to stroke prevention.

Young vs. Old Stroke:

Strokes in young and old individuals can differ in etiology. Younger patients may experience strokes due to conditions like arteriovenous malformations or embolic sources. At the same time, older individuals are more prone to atherosclerotic strokes. It is essential to customize the diagnostic method according to the age group of the patient.

Golden Time for Stroke Treatment:

The “golden time” for stroke treatment is a concept we must underscore. Timely intervention is crucial. The recommended time frame for administering intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) is within 4.5 hours of symptom onset. Mechanical thrombectomy, a revolutionary technique, has an extended window of 24 hours, making it a game-changer in selected cases.

FAST ED Acronym:

Recognizing stroke symptoms immediately (FAST ED) is vital to decreasing the disability that comes from stroke. The FAST ED acronym—Face, Arms, Speech, Time, Eyes, Dizziness—provides a quick checklist for identifying a potential stroke. Any sudden changes in these aspects warrant immediate medical attention.

Preventing Stroke:

Preventing stroke involves proactive measures. Lifestyle modifications, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate blood pressure control are vital components. Additionally, managing conditions like atrial fibrillation can reduce stroke risk significantly.

Stroke Awareness Challenges:

Stroke awareness lags behind myocardial infarction awareness in our country despite its comparable severity and disability potential. This discrepancy is multifactorial but can be attributed, in part, to a broader understanding of heart-related issues. We must close this gap to save lives and minimize disability.

Government Initiatives:

The government plays a pivotal role in increasing stroke awareness. Public health campaigns, robust healthcare infrastructure, and continued medical education are essential. Additionally, leveraging technology to facilitate telemedicine consultations can provide timely expert guidance in remote areas.

In conclusion, the battle against stroke in India is multifaceted, but it’s worth engaging in. Stroke is not just a medical challenge; it’s a societal concern. Through increased awareness, timely intervention, and collaborative efforts, we can reduce the burden of stroke and improve the quality of life for countless individuals. As we mark World Stroke Day, let us recommit ourselves to this cause, advocating for change and pushing the boundaries of stroke care. Together, we can make a difference.

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