What is the Golden Age of Stroke Management?
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. This causes brain tissue to not get oxygen and nutrients, so brain cells start to die within minutes.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and lifelong disability. A stroke may have a long-term impact on your health and life. The best way to help minimize the risk of long-term disability or death is to give treatment within the "golden hour" or "golden period."
Unfortunately, most people don't know about this. This is why not a few stroke victims end up being disabled for life or even losing their lives. Actually, what is the "golden hour" or "golden period" in stroke management?
In the medical world, the "golden period" or "golden hour" is a time when the life of a stroke victim can be saved by taking the right treatment as soon as possible.
Stroke is classified into two types based on the cause, namely:
- Ischemic Stroke
occurs when the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the brain experience narrowing, causing blood flow to the brain to be greatly reduced. This condition is also known as ischemia. Ischemic stroke can be further divided into two types: thrombotic stroke and embolic stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke
It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing bleeding. Bleeding in the brain can be triggered by several conditions that affect the blood vessels. For example, uncontrolled hypertension, weak blood vessel walls, and being treated with blood thinners Hemorrhagic stroke is further divided into two types, namely intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
This condition can affect hearing, speaking, eating, moving, and almost all vital processes. This is why proper stroke care during the "golden hour" is so crucial for a sufferer's life.
The "golden hour" or "golden period" is the term used to describe the life span of a stroke survivor with prompt treatment. If a stroke sufferer gets medical help within that period, he or she is likely to survive stroke complications.
In stroke, the "golden hour" period is four and a half hours after a person experiences stroke symptoms. Without any treatment in that time frame, stroke sufferers are very likely to experience permanent brain damage.
There are three factors that increase a person's risk of having a stroke: health factors, lifestyle factors, and other factors. Apart from stroke, these various factors also increase the risk of heart attack.
In terms of health risk factors, these are as follows:
- High Cholesterol
- Heart disease, such as heart failure, congenital heart disease, heart infection, or arrhythmia
- Sleep apnea
- Have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or previous heart attack
While those included in lifestyle risk factors, namely:
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Use of illegal drugs
Meanwhile, several conditions included in other risk factors are:
- Heredity factor. Someone with a family member who has had a stroke has a higher risk of experiencing the same disease.
- The age factor As you get older, a person's risk of having a stroke is also higher compared to younger people.
Symptoms Of a Stroke
Each part of the brain is in charge of controlling a different part of the body, so the symptoms of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that is affected and the degree of damage. That is why stroke symptoms can vary for each sufferer. However, strokes usually occur suddenly. At least, there are three main symptoms of stroke that are easy to recognize, namely:
- One side of the face will look lower, and the sufferer is unable to smile because the mouth or eyes appear to droop.
- The sufferer is unable to lift one of his arms because he feels weak or numb. Not only the arms, but the legs that are on the same side as the arms also experience weakness.
- Even though the sufferer appears conscious, speech becomes unclear, garbled, or even impossible to understand.
Meanwhile, other signs and symptoms of stroke include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- A severe headache that comes on suddenly
- Accompanied by stiffness in the neck and dizziness like spinning (vertigo)
- Decreased consciousness
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) resulting in choking
- Experiencing disturbances in balance and coordination
- Experiencing sudden loss of vision, sudden onset, or double vision
Most strokes occur because of a family medical history. However, that does not mean that this health problem cannot be prevented. Identify and avoid existing risk factors, follow your doctor's recommendations, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some ways to prevent a stroke:
- Keep the diet
Consuming too many salty and fatty foods can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of hypertension, which triggers a stroke. Avoid excessive salt consumption. Furthermore, the recommended foods are those that are rich in unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins, and fiber. All of these nutrients can be obtained from vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and low-fat meat such as skinless chicken breast.
- Regular exercise
Regular exercise can make the heart and circulatory system work more efficiently. Exercise can also lower cholesterol levels and keep your weight and blood pressure at healthy levels.
- Quit smoking
Smokers are twice as likely to have a stroke. Because smoking causes blood vessels to narrow and clot easily. Not smoking means reducing the risk of various other health problems, such as lung and heart disease.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
Liquor contains a lot of calories. If consumed in excess, a person is susceptible to various stroke-triggering diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can also make the heartbeat irregular.
- Avoid using drugs
Several types of narcotics, psychotropics, and addictive substances (NAPZA) can cause narrowing of the arteries and reduce blood flow.
After recognizing the appearance of stroke symptoms, treat them immediately by taking the patient to the hospital to be examined by a doctor.