Focus on awareness of stroke symptoms
Abu Dhabi, July 1, 2013
Lack of awareness of stroke symptoms is one of the leading causes of death and adult disability in the UAE, said a senior surgeon.
Dr Mohammed Baguneid, chief of vascular surgery at the Abu Dhabi-based Mafraq Hospital called for the public to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of stroke.
An epidemiological study conducted by a team of physicians from the Tawam and Al Ain Hospitals reported that the actual number of stroke victims is hidden by a lack of investigation by hospitals and by how little the public know about the condition.
A stroke is the loss of brain functions due to a blood clot or bleeding in the brain.
According to the Framingham Stroke Study (2006), every two seconds, someone, somewhere in the world suffers a stroke, the majority of which is termed as ‘silent’ or minor strokes. If ignored, these so-called silent strokes are likely to recur and have the same symptoms as major strokes.
The Stroke Association in the UK said it has funded research into the Face Arm Speech Test (FAST), which is used by paramedics to diagnose stroke prior to a person being admitted to hospital, to help people recognise the symptoms of stroke quickly.
The test requires an assessment of three specific symptoms of stroke, that is, facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech problems, it said.
Dr Baguneid said: “Research has revealed that delays in seeking emergency care are partly because of how patients view their symptoms. Fear and denial, not wanting to burden family or friends and not wanting to ‘make a fuss’ by calling emergency services, can delay hospital treatment.”
“However, accurate diagnosis and receiving treatment within a recommended time frame is critical to stop a recurrence,” he said.
The vascular department at Mafraq Hospital consists of four vascular surgeon consultants and a supporting team who treat the entire range of vascular diseases including varicose veins, leg ulcers, aortic aneurysms and carotid disease, he added. – TradeArabia News Service