Kerala Minister for Health KK Shailaja on Thursday announced that stroke units have started functioning in nine government hospitals in various districts. The costly treatment for stroke has been made available to more people with this, the Minister said. General Hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and District Hospitals in Thodupuzha, Perintalmanna and Palakkad, are the ones which have opened stroke units. "In rest of the General Hospitals and District Hospitals in the state, units are under preparation and will soon be opened," the Minister wrote on Facebook.
"It is critical to provide care for the patient within the first four hours. If treatment is not provided timely, it can lead to speech impairment, paralysis or even death," it states. The units will have super speciality facilities and specialist doctors have been appointed for this, it said. The units have been started by the government as part of Stroke Identification Rehabilitation Awareness and Stabilisation Programme (SIRAS) under the Aardram Mission of the government. Steps have been taken to begin a special out-patient and in-patient wing, special intensive care unit, and stroke rehabilitation wing, in the stroke units. A tele radiology facility has also been started to ensure CT scan reports are made available within 24 hours.
A person gets affected by stroke either due to thrombosis, where blood clots in blood vessels to the brain or during haemorrhage. Globally, among four adults, one is said to have been affected by stroke, states the release by the Health Minister. It usually occurs as part of lifestyle diseases or blood pressure. A person affected by stroke will show symptoms like weakness of hands or legs, muscle weakness around mouth and slurred speech.
October 29 is considered as World Stroke Day. As part of it, Kerala government had recently announced a few programmes to tackle rising cases of strokes in the state.