At a time of growing distrust and general indifference to human suffering, doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital here on Thursday noted how prompt action of office colleague in one instance and of a spouse in another case helped give two brain stroke patients a new lease of life.
Brain stroke is generally perceived as a life-altering event, which leaves the patient with some or other permanent damage to the body and mind.
Weakness of arms and legs, sudden slurring of speech, sudden loss of speech, or sudden loss of vision, sudden unsteadiness (imbalance) or sudden headache and vomiting with unconsciousness are some of the major symptoms of such strokes.
In both the cases, the stroke patients were admitted in the hospital within the first few hours of the onset of symptoms -- also called as the "golden period".
"In both the cases, the patients were observed having difficulty in speaking and understanding, while other bodily functions were almost normal," neurologist Vinit Suri, who was involved in the treatment of both the patients, said in a statement.
"It is important to understand that stroke may present without limb paralysis with abnormal behaviour or loss of speech, that is, difficult to recognise the verbal instructions. Emergent treatment within the golden period can prevent damage to the brain by restoring the circulation," Suri added.
In the first case, the patient developed the symptoms -- difficulty in speaking and understanding -- at his office.
While his colleagues could not understand his abnormal change in behaviour, they decided to rush him to Apollo Hospital within one-and-a-half-hours of the onset of symptoms.
"His MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was initially normal and MRI repeated twice within minutes revealed an evolving damage in the brain. He was given intravenous clot-busting drug with significant return of speech within one hour of the drug," said Suri.
In the second case, the patient again was unable to speak or understand, but his wife realised his condition and rushed him to hospital as she had earlier seen her grandmother suffer similarly.
"MRI at the hospital showed a complete block of a large vessel supplying blood to the left half of the brain. The patient did not have any improvement with the intravenous drug and was taken for the removal of the clot by a stent introduced into the brain vessel from a leg vessel," Suri said.
"As soon as clot was pulled out, he could speak and within 12 hours his speech has returned," he added.
The doctors stressed that even within the golden period, the earlier the treatment is started the better the recovery.
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