1st general hospital to be stroke-ready hospital in governme
General Hospital has become the first stroke-ready hospital in government sector in Ernakulam. A dedicated team for stroke treatment is being formed for offering immediate and efficient medical care for patients who are brought to the hospital with symptoms of stroke.

Once a patient with cerebral thrombosis is brought to the hospital within four-and-a-half hours of showing the symptoms, physical defects can be avoided in 33% of the cases.

“We have already started to offer the services. But, patients are being brought to the hospital after two or three days of showing symptoms. We will be able to provide thrombolysis only if the patient is brought here within the window period of four-and-a-half hours since showing the symptoms,” said Dr M Sreedeepan, neurologist, who leads the stroke treatment team in the hospital.

Of the stroke cases found here, around 80% is thrombosis while the remaining cases are haemorrhage. In vast majority of these cases, thrombolysis — the treatment offered at the hospital — can ensure that the patient’s condition doesn’t deteriorate while there are chances for worsening the condition in 4-5% of the patients.

The injection as part of thrombolysis, which is charged up to Rs 50,000 in private hospitals, is administered to the patients free of cost at the GH. “In many of the hospitals, including government hospitals, bystanders will have to purchase the medicine from outside. It will cause delay. In our hospital, we always store 10 vials,” Sreedeepan said.

The facility will become full-fledged only after the opening of the new super speciality block which is under construction. There requires a dedicated team comprising neurologist, trained nursing and other staff. It also requires a dedicated ICU for offering treatment to such patients. As of now, some of the beds in the medical ICU of the hospital would be given to the stroke management wing. Once the super specialty block is opened, authorities will be shifting our unit to the new block. Then, there will be a dedicated ICU for the purpose,” Sreedeepan said.

According to Sreedeepan, creating awareness about the symptoms of the disease is the key factor in providing effective treatment.

“Many of the patients are being brought to the hospital after much delay. Recognizing the symptoms and bringing the patient within the window period is key,” he said.

For managing stroke, FAST is the method being used for recognizing the symptoms of stroke.
F in FAST stands for facial changes like asymmetry of the face, dropping of lips, etc
A stands for weakness of one of the hands
S stands for speech difficulties
T stands for time to call emergency services

A team for handling stroke is ready at the General Hospital Injection for thrombolysis, which costs around Rs 50,000 at private hospitals, will be given free of cost at GH

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/general-hospital-gets-stroke-ready-hospital-tag/articleshow/71511662.cms
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