Last month, Vikram R, a resident of Worli, was rushed to the hospital as left side of his body suddenly went numb and lifeless. Little did he or anyone from his family members realise that Vikram had just suffered an acute brain stroke, which resulted in the left side of his body becoming paralysed. There was no reason for the family to suspect that, cause Vikram is a mere 24-year-old youth and the thought of him suffering a brain stroke did not even occur to anyone around him.
Only when he was rushed to the KEM hospital, did the doctors realised that the 24-year-old mechanical engineer had suffered from an acute brain stroke and immediately conducted an emergency operation on him, which eventually saved his life.
“It was a half hour procedure where we went for mechanical thrombectomy (MT), an interventional stroke treatment. It is an effective way of treating brain stroke where the blood clot is trapped by a special device called the stent retriever and then extracted without open surgery,” said Dr Nitin Dange, intervention and neurosurgeon at KEM hospital.
While within ten days, Vikram was discharged and recuperating in his hometown in Tamil Nadu, Dr Dange said timely medical attention not only saved his life but reduced the chances of morbidities generally associated with brain stroke patients.
“Acute brain stroke is the leading cause for disability in human beings. It is also the third leading cause after cancer and heart attack to cause death. A patient suffering from stroke should be treated within 6 hours for MT. After this period gets over, the patient is at high risk of suffering disability for lifetime,” said Dr Dange.
He also pointed out that Vikram is a second case of brain stroke in the age group of 23-27 in last one year who has undergone MT at KEM Hospital, which is a cause of worry. Dr Dange was assisted by Dr Ashwin Patil, who is an active member of stroke team.
“Strokes were common among elderly and middle age people, but now days it is becoming common among youngsters, Vikram is one example of it. Due to their unhealthy habits like extreme smoking, consumption of alcohol, lack of sleep, stress and unhealthy diet youngsters also are suffering from acute strokes,” said Dr Dange.
Unhealthy lifestyle and rampant smoking has led to a rising number of brain stroke cases in youth in Mumbai said city doctors. According to doctors, the age group getting stroke has come down to 20s and 30s which earlier was 50 and above.
Dr Sangeeta Rawat, Professor of Neurology at KEM hospital said, “Stress, smoking, consumption of alcohol and unhealthy diet are the main causes of strokes. Now days both heart attack and brain stroke are becoming common among youngsters”.
Experts say there is a 15 per cent rise in youth getting stroke because of unhealthy lifestyle. Rampant smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, high stress level are other reasons of youth getting stroke.
Most commonly patients come with sudden onset of paralysis of one half of body and speech problems. At community level a FAST test (read info graphics for FAST test) can be easily done which helps in detecting stroke before they can see a doctor. Loss of consciousness, loss of vision, double vision, imbalance etc are other symptoms.
Dr Dange said as the victim does not know what to do while a stroke is happening, so people who witness it should act correctly, as not treating such a patient on time will lead to loss of neurons.