BRAIN STROKE IN COVID-19 ERA, WHY WE SHOULD BE MORE AWARE : SUNDAY MIRROR

The pandemic Covid-19 has threatened everyone across the world. Already we have crossed 6 months in horrible condition. Still the cases are rising up in many places of the earth. In highly populated country like India the rise in cases have become a big burden on healthcare system.

It’s now well established that Coronavirus causes problems in the brain whereas, initially it was all about the lungs. Stroke continues to be one of the leading causes of the disability in India. Various studies showed that 0.9% to 23% COVID-19 patients develop stroke. Both hemorrhage and blocking of blood vessels in brain are common in covid-19 stroke.

COVID-19 patients have a tendency for the blood to thicken or become sticky which blocks the blood vessels supplying the brain; and the blood supply of a particular part of the brain is cut off resulting in stroke symptoms.

Risk factor for stroke

Covid-19 related strokes can happen without these risk factors also. The occurrence of stroke is more common in Corona infection as per the current literature in comparison to other viruses. It can occur in old and young age groups.

How to recognise stroke early?

How to recognise early signs of stroke

Stroke can easily be identified by a four-letter word FAST (Sudden onset F – Facial weakness, A – Arm weakness, S – Speech problems, T – Don’t waste time at home). Reach the hospital within 4.5 hours of stroke onset as this is the only time when a stroke can be treated.(Early diagnosis of stroke)

Why it is even more important to be stroke aware in COVID-19?

Time is brain. Whatever the cause of stroke, we can’t delay the treatment. Earliest treatment gives better results. As Covid-19 is a common cause of stroke in every age group, the awareness is more necessary now.

How to prevent re-stroke in this pandemic?

Take medications for blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol as taking previously. Medications for stroke prevention must be continued. Do regular exercise. Avoid dehydration.

Covid-19 can cause stroke in any age group. Even it can be the first presentation of Covid-19. If anyone is having signs of stroke visit hospital soon. Never neglect stroke in fear of covid-19. Those people who have already suffered stroke, must continue Medicine to prevent any new attack. And always maintain social distancing, hand washing along with masks.

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Reference

1. Markus HS, Brainin M. COVID-19 and stroke—A global World Stroke Organization perspective. International journal of stroke. 2020 Jun;15(4):361-4.

2. Avula A, Nalleballe K, Narula N, Sapozhnikov S, Dandu V, Toom S, Glaser A, Elsayegh D. COVID-19 presenting as stroke. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2020 Apr 28.

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