The Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin has begun a campaign to make sure everyone understand the signs, dangers and treatment options for Stroke. What’s the main message? We asked to three resident neurology specialists that question and the answer was unanimous. “Time is important, get to hospital as soon as you possibly can.” October 29th is World Stroke Day, which was established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006 to help spread public awareness of the world’s high stroke risk and stroke prevalence. When dealing with stroke, acting F.A.S.T. is key to treatment and recovery. This is the main platform of the Stroke Campaign; understanding the signs of a stroke and seeking early intervention. ‘Saving your brain’ depends upon reducing every moment that it is deprived of oxygen!
What Is Stroke?
Stroke is a rapid loss of brain function caused by a reduction in blood flow to the brain, often caused by either blocked blood vessels leading to the brain or a ruptured blood vessel within the brain itself. There are two main types of stroke. Ischaemic strokes happen when something blocks an artery that carries blood to the brain. There are several possible causes: a blood clot forms in a main artery to the brain a blood clot, air bubble or fat globule forms in a blood vessel and is carried to the brain there is a blockage in the tiny bloody vessels deep inside the brain.
Haemorrhagic strokes happen when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain (a haemorrhage). The haemorrhage may be due to: a vessel bursting within the brain itself, or a blood vessel on the surface of the brain bleeding into the area between the brain and the skull.
What Are The Risk Factors For Stroke?
You can’t prevent stroke but a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce the risks.
Controllable Risk Factors:
High Blood Pressure Atrial Fibrillation – Irregular heart beat High Cholesterol Diabetes Atherosclerosis – Thickening and hardening of the arteries Circulation Problems Tobacco Use and Smoking Alcohol Use Physical Inactivity Obesity
Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
Age Gender Race Family History Previous Stroke or TIA (a transient ischaemic attack, also called a mini-stroke). Fibromuscular Dysplasia – Narrowing of the arteries Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO or Hole in the Heart)
What Are The Treatment Options?
If the stroke is caused by a blood clot, a clot-busting drug may be given to dissolve the clot. To be effective, this treatment must be started within 3 to 4 1/2 hours of when the symptoms first started. Other treatments given in the hospital will depend on the cause of the stroke.
These may include: Blood thinners such as heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or clopidogrel (Plavix) Medicine to control symptoms such as high blood pressure Special procedures or surgery to relieve symptoms or prevent more strokes Nutrients and fluids Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and swallowing therapy will all begin in the hospital. The goal of treatment after a stroke is to help you recover as much function as possible and prevent future strokes. Recovery from your stroke will begin from the moment you in care, including in the ambulance on the way to hospital. It will continue when you go home.
About Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin Stroke Response Team
The mainstay of the neurology team at The Bangkok Hospital are Doctors Yutthana Sriwichit, Paweena Narathong and neurosurgeon, Doctor Parnamus Piyavechvirat. By saying ‘mainstay’ we know that apart from these specialist doctors and nursing staff, training all Bangkok Hospital staff to understand the symptoms and need for rapid responses is a priority of the hospital. This includes reception staff, car park attendants and everyone who may first come across someone experiencing a stroke. The doctors are all residents of the hospital in more ways than one.
They say in hospital accommodation virtually ‘on site’ and are available 24 hours / 7 days. The hospital can also arrange rapid transfer (including by air) to Bangkok facilities in critical cases when even more specialist facilities are required. The emergency line is 1719, this will always ensure a rapid response. An ambulance is likely to attend within 5 minutes, the preferred way of starting treatment as soon as possible. There is even a service to provide communications in your language so that your call will be understood.
Our thanks to the ‘brainy’ doctors at Bangkok Hospital for their hospital-ity, time and insights into Stroke! Suffering a Stroke incident may be a scary event, but knowing that ‘best practice’ is available in Hua Hin should provide all the confidence you need.