When Jill Taylor, world famous brain anatomist (neuroanatomist) watched her own mind completely deteriorate and lose its ability to process all stimulation from her senses in just 4 hours one morning in her mid-thirties, it was only after her arm went limp that she recognised that she was having a stroke. Little did she know that the cause of her stroke was due to an undiagnosed AVM (arteriovenous malformation), which is causing a massive bleed in her left hemisphere. While Jill used her insight to seek for immediate help, which was vital for her recovery, many people fail to recognise this distressing situation.
A patient of stroke can forget who he is and lose track of his life and identity. As a clinician, it is always saddening to hear family member ask why their mother who died of stroke did not call for help. In Mauritius, like many developed countries of the world, stroke has become the second leading cause of death. Whole families have been shattered by its sudden affliction and often-prolonged recovery.
The “ACT F.A.S.T” campaign initiated in Ireland has been very successful and was used to raise awareness in the UK.
F.A.S.T. stands for:
F – Face – has the face fallen on one side? Can he smile?
A – Arms – Can he raise both arms and keep them there?
S – Speech – is his speech slurred?
T –Time to call for 132 if you spot any single one of these signs
A well-coordinated unit has been set up at the Apollo Bramwell Hospital to respond immediately and act on your presentation. You should receive a brain scan to find out if your stroke was caused by a blood clot or bleeding into your brain. Armed with the latest stroke imaging protocol, the 1.5 Tesla MRI machine can detect even subtle insult to the brain tissue even before they appear on the normal scans and can detect how much of the brain tissue is salvageable.
If the stroke is due to a clot, a clot-buster medication may reduce long-term disability if given within three hours of the first symptom by re-opening blocked arteries. The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute and therefore must be given as soon as possible. Therefore, if you recognise the symptoms of stroke, ACT F.A.S.T because TIME IS BRAIN.
Dr T. Ghoorah
Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all
Andrew and Jane Stewart