Stroke is the second most common cause of death in India, with cardiovascular disease being the leading cause. According to a neurologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), one person dies of a stroke every four minutes in India. Professor M V Padma Srivastava, a neurologist at AIIMS said that around 1,85,000 strokes occur every year in India.
“One stroke happening every 40 seconds,” Srivastava, the Padma Shri recipient, said at an event held at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
According to the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD), India has 68.6 per cent incidence of stroke, 70.9 per cent stroke deaths and 77.7 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost.
Figures are alarming for a country like India
Srivastava said that these figures are alarming for a country like India and particularly for people living in poor resource settings.
Explaining who all are at greater risk, Srivastava said that the stroke burden is greater among younger and middle-aged people. The analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases also showed that about 5.2 million or 31 per cent strokes were among those who were aged less than 20 years.
Despite these alarming figures, there are several hospitals in India that lack the necessary infrastructure. Srivastava also said that the organisation that are required to treat stroke patients quickly and efficiently are unable to deliver adequate stroke care.
“The stroke services across the country, especially in public sector hospitals are deficient in many aspects.”
Strokes should be treated on a priority as they can be fatal and even lead to paralysis. The ‘golden window’ for the treatment of stroke is considered to be 4.5. hours, certain therapies beyond this limit would not help reverse the damage to the neurons.
The doctor suggested that telemedicine can help improve the infrastructural gap between urban and rural populations when it comes to timely stroke care access.