Four to five stroke patients admitted daily to NH

A recent survey revealed that four to five stroke patients are admitted to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) daily, the Consultant Neurologist attached to the NHSL Dr. Padma Gunaratne said.

She was addressing the media during a health seminar at the Health Promotion Bureau in Colombo to mark the World Stroke Day which falls on October 29.

According to Dr.Gunaratne, the survey reveals that 57.4 percent of stroke patients are men while 42.6 percent are women. Most stroke patients are between the ages of 50 and 80. However, 33 percent of them are below the age of 60. They have had developed strokes even before their age of retirement. Around 200,000 stroke patients exist in the country at present.

Dr.Gunaratne said the percentage of ‘young strokes’ is seven and the patients are below the age of 45. Ninety percent of strokes can be prevented, he said. An injection can save lives of some stroke patients if they are brought to hospital within four and half hours from the time of developing the stroke.

“Patients need specialized care for a long period - one month or more - after suffering from a stroke. Care should be provided by health professionals such as physiotherapists, speech therapists, etc. After complete rehabilitation, stroke patients can lead a normal life,” Dr.Gunaratne said.

“If not rehabilitated properly, with the assistance of health professionals, stroke patients can develop other complications such as pneumonia, bedsores, etc. Hypertension, diabetes, smoking and use of alcohol are the four main reasons that lead to strokes,” she added.

Acting Director General of Health Services Dr. J. M.W.Jayasundara Bandara addressing the gathering said the National Stroke Centre will open at Mulleriyawa next month. Stroke management centres will be set up in all provinces, he said. According to Dr. Bandara, stroke management is recognized as a National Policy in 2015. 

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