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World Stroke Day

 

World Stroke Day

29th October

 

In 2006 World Stroke Organization adopted as proclamation:

Stroke is a catastrophe:

Preventable              Treatable

Portuguese Stroke Society – SPAVC - understands, and so it has proceeded, that a World-wide Day, International or National of a determined illness, must be used to forward updated information to the General Population so that it knows the clinical entity - Stroke - adopts the measures indicated for its prevention, knows how to recognize its presence and what attitude must be taken in face of its appearance.

The International Classification of Diseases (10th Revision) clearly identifies stroke as situated in the group of vascular diseases and inside of these of the cerebral vascular diseases. It has two other great groups of vascular diseases that are the cardiac or cardiovascular diseases and of the diseases of the arteries that supply the limbs called peripheral arterial diseases. These denominations derive from the target organ of an imperfect circulation. So that:

Cerebral vascular diseases – target organ - brain

Cardiovascular diseases – target organ - heart

Peripheral arterial diseases – target organ - limbs

Therefore the cardiovascular term should only be used when we are talking about diseases of the arteries related to the heart.

Now that we have briefly reviewed classification issues we find essential to understanding all that matters to be known, let’s take the next step:

What can I do?

Preventable Disease: there are factors, called risk factors, that when present will contribute to the development of stroke – about 80% are due to the lack of blood in a determined area of the brain with the consequent loss of function that was executed by the affected area and it results of the disease of the arteries that feed the brain.

Age is the main risk factor we can not change – stroke is directly linked with aging, although it appears in all ages.

But there are risk factors which we can and must change:

High blood pressure

Smoking

Lack of exercise

Atrial fibrilation (a particular form of cardiac arrhythmia with formation of blood clots that can embolize and obstruct a cerebral artery)

 Diabetes

 High cholesterol

These are the main risk factors that demand a pró-active attitude of each person, taking the iniative of assessing them that so many times they come together.

How to proceed if, having this same care or if we will not have it, Stroke appears?

Before most the Population must recognize the way a Stroke manifests.

The signs are always loss of a determined function of our organism, appearing in a sudden way, but SPAVC trying to “obtain” the highest number of cases established that

Who feels loss of power in one arm

Or

Who has the lower half of the face deviating to one side

Or

Who wants to name people or things and can not

Consider being suffering a stroke

What to do?

Without wasting time the patient or a relative should dial “112” and demand that through Stroke Fast Track he is taken to a Hospital with an Acute Stroke Treating Unit.

Informed population = demanding population.

The Country will have to be endowed with as many Stroke Units as necessary so that any individual, wherever he is, will arrive at this Unit, in the maximum, in the first two hours after installation of the stroke so that until three hours he will receive the correct treatment – the so called fibrinolysis.

In doing so:

Will contribute to less death

Will contribute to less incapacity

Will contribute to a complete recovery

The contribution that we expect from each one from this day is that:

One knows what a stroke is

One knows how to prevent it

 One recognizes its symptoms

One demands to be immediately taken to a stroke unit

Consider stroke as an emergency.

Figures are hopeful, already presenting a reduction in the mortality rate due to stroke in Portugal. They will certainly improve further, placing us along European Countries with low mortality rates.

 

Help us helping you

Be pro-active