Chronic diseases have caused a significant increase in mortality rate especially in adults, with some adults having more than one. Approximately 150,000 die every day across the globe and about two-third die of age-related causes in industrialized nations, 60% of all deaths are due to chronic diseases, recent studies have predicted that by 2020, chronic disease will be the world’s major leading cause of death. Some common chronic diseases are; hypertension, bipolar disorder, asthma Ischaemic heart disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, nephritis, schizophrenia, diabetes mellitus, stroke.
Almost everyone reading this at one point or another has heard about stroke or a victim of a stroke or probably related to a patient who’s had a stroke, we must have heard some horrifying stories of the pain accompanied by stroke attack but only very full people know fully well why a stroke patient is suffering the way he does and the biological factors causing stroke in the body.
Stroke, also known cerebrovascular accidents is described as a medical emergency which occurs when blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced preventing brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrient which can lead to death or permanent disability. Some causes of stroke include;
- When the part of the brain that is supplied by the clotted blood vessel is deprived of blood and oxygen, the cell in that part of the body stops working in your arteries.
- High cholesterol: having too much cholesterol in your blood causes the arteries to be narrow and stiff and make it difficult for blood to flow.
- High blood pressure: blood vessels damaged by high blood pressure can rupture or leak. High blood pressure causes blood clots to form in the arteries leading to your brain blocking blood and potentially causing a stroke, extremely high blood pressures (systolic pressure) of 180mmhg millimeter mercury can damage the blood vessel.
- Cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain): cerebral hemorrhage occurs when blood is accumulated due to swelling of brain tissue (cerebral edema) thereby increases pressure within the skull and causes further damage by squeezing the brain against a bony skull. This causes a further decrease in blood flow to brain tissue and its cell.
Some common symptoms of stroke include; headache; nausea, vomiting, vision loss or change in the level of consciousness, trouble understanding speech, over-reactive reflexes, paralysis of one side of the body, difficulty walking, difficulty speaking, blurred vision, fatigue, light headedness, double vision, temporary loss of vision in one eye, sudden visual loss, muscle weakness or numbness, speech loss, difficulty swallowing, mental confusion, reduced sensation of touch, etc.
HOW TO TREAT A STROKE PATIENT
Emergency treatment for stroke depends on whether you are having;
- Ischaemic stroke; caused by a blockage in the artery that supplies blood to the brain and regulates the flow of oxygen. Common symptoms include passing out, numbness of the face, arms legs, slurred speech, loss of vision in one or both eyes, dizziness, and severe headache.
- Hemorrhagic stroke also known as cerebral hemorrhage; occurs when a patient experiences high blood pressure and there is a ruptured blood vessel which causes bleeding inside the brain. Symptoms indicating cerebral hemorrhage include bleeding, decreases level of consciousness, fainting, headache, seizures, sensitivity to light, paralysis of one side of the body, difficulty speaking, decreased or altered level of consciousness, and difficulty walking.
- A transient ischaemic stroke usually a warning or mini-stroke; often caused by increased cholesterol accumulation in an artery or other channels through which oxygen and blood are being supplied to the brain. Common symptoms include difficulty swallowing, mental confusion, vision loss, reduced touch sensitivity, muscle weakness, impaired voice, and lightheadedness.
Some general methods for treating a stroke patient includes;
- Emergency IV medication to increase chances of survival and also prevent complications.
- Emergency endovascular procedure which involves using microcatheters( thin tubes visible under x-ray which are inserted into the blood clot from groin to the arm to access the blood vessel.
- Angioplasty and stent; Angioplasty is a simple procedure which involves opening a blocked blood vessel which supplies oxygen to the heart and stent a small metal mesh tube which expands inside a coronary artery is usually placed during or immediately after angioplasty.
- Coiling (endovascular embolization; this procedure involves the insertion of the metallic occluding coil into an artery usually in the groin to prevent the irregular flow of blood in the blood vessel.
- Carotid endarterectomy; is performed by making an incision along the front of the neck, opening the carotid artery, and removing the substances blocking the flow of blood.
As previously stated, a lot of factors are responsible for stroke, most of which we can control and avoid. In general, living a healthy lifestyle helps to prevent the buildup of factors that align to cause a stroke.
- Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, avoid emotional and mental health, regular mental checkups, and moderate consumption of foods rich in calories are some of what we need to stick to. Also, don’t hesitate to see a doctor after experiencing stroke related symptoms. Remember, a healthy life, a happy life.