Stroke is the 4th most common cause of death in Singapore and the world. There are currently more than 8,000 cases of stroke in Singapore annually alone. It is caused by either blockage of the blood vessel (ischemic stroke) or due to rupture of the blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) bringing blood to the brain (arteries). Ischemic stroke is by far the most common type of stroke (80%) of all strokes.
TIME IS BRAIN. The most important aspect of treatment for stroke is rapid access to emergency healthcare, where a Neurologist can assess you immediately for suitability of treatment options within the first 60 minutes of arrival in the hospital. This include a dedicated focus history, neurological examination and emergent brain scans (CT angiogram of the brain or MRI brain).
Medications to dissolve blood clot (THROMBOLYSIS) is the well established and effective treatment option for suitable patients. The earlier the medication is given, the higher the odds of success in returning back to pre-morbid status. Pre-hospital delay due to inability to recognise stroke symptoms is the most common cause of delayed treatment.
ENDOVASCULAR THERAPY is the latest most effective treatment for ischemic stroke. X- ray guided intervention to retrieve blood clots from the brain is also a viable option, but only for some selected patients. This require urgent Neurologist specialist attention with a dedicated Neuro-Interventional Radiologist. This partnership helps the patient to improve stroke outcomes significantly.
NEURO-REHABILITATION is the key pillar for recovery after stroke. A dedicated rehabilitation physician, together with multidisciplinary team of allied health staff (physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists), will assist to get you back as much function as you can get. Treatment with certain medications may improve recovery.