ONLY 30% OF MALAYSIANS WHO SUFFER STROKE SURVIVE WITH NO OR MILD DISSABILITIES
APRIL 20, 2019 @ 8.06 PM
The first Malaysian Stroke Conference proper kicked off today after a day of preconference workshops yesterday on Neurointerventions and Emergency Services.
Stroke occurs as the result of either a blocked blood vessel (ischaemic stroke) or a burst blood vessel (haemorrhagic stroke). It is a leading cause of death worldwide.
Summary statistics obtained from the Malaysian Stroke Registry suggests that one in 10 individuals who have had a stroke suffers death. This conceals a far more sinister statistic which is that only 30% of Malaysians who suffer stroke are able to survive with no or mild disabilities. The remaining 60% will need care long term following a stroke.
Comprehensive stroke services
Disability from stroke can be effectively reduced through comprehensive stroke services. This includes hyperacute stroke services, acute stroke units, inpatient rehabilitation, community rehabilitation and ongoing post-stroke support. The hyperacute stroke service will be looking at clot-busting which is possible through an intravenous injection within four hours of stroke onset. Outside the four hours this can still be done by a highly trained neuroradiologist who is able to remove the clot using a wire threaded through to the brain from a blood vessel in the arm or leg.
The acute stroke unit looks after stroke patients for the first few days after their stroke. They will be striving to keep stroke patients well hydrated and monitored to ensure complications are avoided. Key communications from knowledgeable specialists also occur in the acute stroke unit establishing the much needed trust and support that stroke patients and their future caregivers require.
Services that will make the biggest impact to reducing disability after stroke is rehabilitation which should ideally be delivered within the community in or near patients' homes. Thereafter, the stroke patient should be supported to continue to be
productive and useful to society through employment, ensuring independent living and prevention of stroke recurrence.
Malaysian Stroke Council
Lack of resources should no longer be the reason behind lack of action. All this is aspirational but not idealistic. We have no choice but to introduce these services and time is no longer our friend. These services will more than pay for themselves through reduced healthcare utilisation, fewer persons needing long term care and most of all allowing return to work and contribution to the economy.
The Malaysian Stroke Council has now been set up to facilitate multi-agency working to realise the aspiration. No single agency can do this alone. It calls for all stakeholders: public, non-governmental, and private and all healthcare disciplines to work together.
The first Malaysian Stroke Conference will be the force which kickstarts future initiatives, generating the momentum to ensure the establishment of comprehensive stroke services in the shortest time possible.
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