It is not possible to predict if a person will have a stroke tomorrow, but it is possible to assess early risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes.
Associate Professor Nguyen Huy Thang, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Stroke Association, Head of Department of Cerebral Vascular Pathology of 115 People’s Hospital (HCMC), said many patients wonder how to diagnose stroke early.
“Stroke is a sudden disease, before the illness is normal, so it is impossible to say exactly what day a person has a stroke”, Dr. Thang shared. However, in each person, a doctor can assess the risk of a stroke. Anyone can face stroke, especially patients in at-risk groups. Each person needs to know what their risk factors are, and set goals they need to achieve.
“There are must-accept risk factors such as age, the older you get, the higher the risk of stroke,” said Dr. Thang. For mutable causes, physicians and patients need to coordinate well.
The leading group of risk factors for brain stroke are hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Some other factors are obesity, smoking, people with cardiovascular disease, alcoholism, having a transient ischemic attack …
According to Dr. Thang, the dangerous thing is that the main culprits cause stroke such as hypertension, diabetes require long-term control drugs, almost lifelong treatment. Meanwhile, the manifestation of the disease is very vague, most patients feel well, so they ignore treatment. For example, many people with systolic hypertension above 200 mmHg or high blood sugar above 400 mg / dL still feel fine.
Currently there are drugs to help reduce the risk and prevent stroke in these patients. For example, a patient with atrial fibrillation who is compliant with treatment, taking anticoagulants under the supervision of a doctor can reduce the risk of future stroke by 70%. Patients who control blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol in the blood also reduce stroke events by 65%.
Many patients, after good treatment, stop seeing medical services, stop taking their medications, or buy old prescription drugs by themselves. “Some patients find that doctors prescribe many types of prescription but only choose to buy one or two types, affecting the effectiveness of treatment”, said Dr. Thang.
“Disease prevention in Vietnam is at an alarming rate. Failure to prevent it well will lead to overload in treatment of acute stroke”, Dr. Thang analyzed.
Dr. Thang said, when reporting abroad, many experts were surprised with the number of more than 1,000 acute stroke treatments in a year by the People’s Hospital 115. This is a record number, rare in Any stroke center in the world.
Currently, Vietnam has access to the latest technology in stroke diagnosis and treatment in the world. Many centers of our country have used advanced imaging to diagnose stroke, reperfusion treatment with modern techniques such as intravenous fibrinolysis, taking blood clots with tools … Stroke treatment in Vietnam is a short window of treatment, few patients arrive in time in the golden time.
Doctor Tran Thi Mai Uyen, Head of the Department of Neurology – Stroke, Gia An 115 Hospital, said that emergency care in “golden time” 3-4.5 hours from the onset of symptoms is very meaningful. important, helps reduce mortality and increase your chances of recovery.
“If family members do not know the time of onset of stroke symptoms or have passed the golden period, still need to contact emergency at the hospital with the function of stroke treatment”, Dr. Uyen shared. Recently, with the help of RAPID software applying artificial intelligence, the time to save the brain can be up to 24 hours.
Be aware of the signs of a stroke for early emergency care. The stroke patient may experience sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs. Especially when symptoms occur on one side of the body, distorted mouth, suddenly unable to speak or difficult to speak, blurred vision, headache, dizziness, loss of balance …
According to world statistics, stroke is the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer. In Vietnam alone, stroke is the leading cause of death. Many people are lucky to survive, but face the risk of disability due to complications such as cognitive disorders, loss of mobility, difficulty in speaking or swallowing, psychological disorders … Statistics show about 70 % of people with one stroke are unable to return to a normal life. That’s why stroke prevention is the most important thing.
Patients who have had a stroke, are fortunate to live or recover well, also need to take medication to prevent the next stroke incident.