Nearly 50% of UAE stroke patients under 45-years-old
DUBAI 10 January 2019: 21-year-old Pranva Prasad, was rushed to hospital following a stroke that happened at his home while he was on holiday in Dubai. The young Indian national suffered a stroke while visiting his parents over the festive season.
Prasad was eating lunch when he suddenly experienced a bout of severe hiccups before collapsing on the floor. His parents noticed that he was unable to speak nor move the right hand side of his body and realised he was having a stroke.
Prasad was initially taken to another hospital from where he was advised to be rushed to Zulekha Hospital’s Stroke Unit. When the patient arrived in ER, he was initially assessed by Dr. Shyam Babu Chandran, Consultant neurologist for confirmation of stroke and to evaluate the severity of stroke. He was immediately sent for scanning of the brain. The results of the scan showed a large blockage to the major part of the left side of the brain. As the language center is located on the left side of the brain the patient could not speak and he had the lack of movement on the right side of his body.
Dr Chandran said: ‘It is extremely important that if you think someone is having a stroke, to take them to a hospital immediately as this reduces the risk of permanent damage to the brain.
While undergoing treatment, the patient was able to slightly move his right leg following injection of an intravenous clot lysing medicine that was flowing for 60 minutes. As the occlusion was in the major vessel the decision to something more was imminent. Once the high risk consent form was signed by the parents, the clot was cleared by Interventional Neuro-radiologist Dr Amritendu Mukherjee, Specialist Neuroradiology with Mechanical Thrombectomy, a procedure that is done using a clot aspiration device in the cathlab.
From the moment the patient arrived at the hospital, the full procedure took a total of two and half hours and the neuro-intervention in cathlab was performed in only forty minutes. Prior to that, Prasad had taken one and half hours from having the stroke until he arrived at Zulekha Hospital. As a result of such quick action, the patient has now made a full recovery and is able to go back to his routine immediately.”
An ischemic stroke is a reduction of blood supply caused by a blockage in the brain. Rapid treatment, within a few hours of the first symptom is crucial. Stroke symptoms can come on suddenly and include signs such a trouble speaking, spinning sensation confusion, numbness, or paralysis on one side of the face or body.
Strokes are most common in people over the age of 65. However in India and in the UAE the average age of stroke patients is much younger than the rest of the world. Recent findings suggest that nearly 50% of stroke patients in the UAE are under 45-years-old due to factors such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, high levels of obesity, smoking and high cholesterol. Lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, quitting smoking and more exercise could play a major role in reducing the number of strokes, particularly among young people. According to many industry experts, up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
“There is no known cause as of now to why the patient suffered a stroke at such a young age (investigations ongoing) but not getting enough sleep and living a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to the issue, and could be easily preventable through healthier lifestyle choices,” continued Dr Chandran.
“If a large artery of brain is blocked by a clot, the best chance of survival of the patient is only by pulling out the clot mechanically from brain through neuro-intervention. It is very important to know where to go in these cases as the facility of Stroke Neuro-intervention and specialists trained in such procedures are available only in a few hospitals of UAE,” Neuro-interventionist Dr Mukherjee added.
Expressing gratitude to the clinical team at Zulekha Hospital, Prasad said, “I have realised the criticality of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the right sleep patterns. I am grateful to my doctors for having saved my life. It has been a positive life changing experience for the family.”
Doctors have also initiated blood tests and other investigations to be able to determine the chances of recurrence and thus recommend precautions to be taken by Prasad.