There Cannot be a better Tribute to World Stroke Day (October 29)

Apollo Hospital gave dangerous Mix of Stroke & COVID Pneumonia the Slip

New Delhi: There cannot be better example on the eve of World Stroke Day (October 29), of what a hospital can do when a patient struck by stroke is brought just in time.

In a case of what is called as “Young Stroke”, 40-year-old man hailing from Muzaffarnagar, UP, suffered from an acute stroke (cerebral hemorrhage) and on admission he was also tested positive for severe COVID pneumonia. An avid smoker, the patient also had pre-existing health conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

The patient had been complaining of light-headedness, headache, weakness and weakness of the right side of his body, accompanied by slurring of speech and blurred vision, for over 24 hours. After his condition worsened with abrupt vertigo, followed by recurrent vomiting and altered consciousness he was admitted to the Emergency at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals on 4th July, 2020.

On admission it was discovered that he had suffered from acute posterior circulation stroke. While admitting as per protocol COVID 19PCR test was done and he tested positive. He rapidly deteriorated with desaturation and was diagnosed to have   severe COVID pneumonia. The team headed by Dr Vinit Suri, Senior Consultant, Neurology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, successfully treated this patient. He was managed with stroke guideline therapy as well as supportive care for COVID pneumonia including antiviral and antibiotics. He was worked-up for various causes of young stroke.

Dr Vinit Suri, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said “When the patient was brought into the emergency he was a case of “young stroke” (medical term for young people under the age of 50 suffering from a stroke). He had suffered from a large posterior circulation stroke involving bilateral vision areas and bilateral thalami leading to severe blindness and weakness of all 4 limbs. Additionally, his condition was complicated by COVID pneumonia which resulted in need for ventilator support. Both the health conditions needed immediate treatment as both are life threatening conditions and timely medical attention was thekey here that helped the patient recover.”

Dr Priyadarshini Pal, Emergency Head, Emergency & Critical Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said,”When admitted to the Emergency he was immediately put on life support systems. With severe stroke and COVID pneumonia, the team needed to act fast. Team of expert doctors adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to treat both the conditions simultaneously. Timely medical intervention helped us stabilize his health for both stroke and COVID 19 within a week. Appropriate management with early stabilization, prevention of worsening of his condition helped him recover fast and within 4 weeks he was discharged in a healthy condition on 2nd August”.

Health experts have been stressing on the importance of not delaying treatment for fear of COVID 19 and the importance of seeking timely medical intervention for health risks that can be lifelong or fatal. Like in the case of this patient, his condition would have gone out of hands if there was any further delay in treatment.

While recent reports have suggested an association between COVID 19 patients and stroke with some suggestion that COVID positive patients may experience stroke owing to inflammatory reaction of the virus, but further in-depth research is required to confirm the correlation between COVID 19 patients and strokes.

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