The period of time from when a person experiences the first symptoms of a stroke until three hours after is referred to as the “gold window” and that time is considered crucial for patients who come to a hospital to receive medical attention to recover blood flow to the brain and minimize or reverse the damage.

However, a survey conducted in the United States reveals that younger patients, those under 45, may underestimate the urgency of stroke symptoms and most believe they can delay the time to go to hospital for medical attention.

The researchers asked more than a thousand persons about they would do within the first three hours after experiencing weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking or difficulty seeing, all common symptoms of a stroke. Only about one of three persons under 45 said they would most likely go to the hospital, while a surprising 73% said they would probably wait to see if the symptoms improve.

Neurologists indicate that the early treatment of a stroke is fundamental. This window of action is very limited because the brain is very sensitive to a lack of blood flow or bleeding and patients who wait longer suffer the most devastating consequences.

In Spain 125,000 cases of stroke occur each year, and 152,000 in the UK. This cerebrovascular disease remains the second leading cause of death in men and the first among women, besides being the first of disability in adults in Western countries, since most patients suffer sequelae in 40% of cases, disabled to perform daily activities.

Warning signs of stroke

The most common warning signs of stroke to keep in mind to go to the hospital for help are:

  • Sudden loss of strength in the face, arm and / or leg on one side of the body.
  • Sudden alteration in sensitivity (“numbness,” pins and needles “) on the face, arm and / or leg on one side of the body.
  • Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden difficulty speaking, express or understand the language.
  • Sudden or severe headache, high intensity and without apparent cause
  • Feeling of instability or sudden imbalance, especially if it is accompanied by some of the above.

In any of these cases, and although the symptoms have been transient and passengers, is vital to the hospital without delay, since some treatments (see below) can only be done in a short period of time after the start of the symptoms.

In this sense, IMED Hospitals has implemented a protocol known as stroke code, based on the recognition of the way early signs and symptoms of a possible ischemic stroke nature, which is a rapid thrombolytic treatment of stroke. This quick action is critical to have higher chances of recovery after suffering a stroke and avoid the consequences that can be caused by such episodes. The activation protocol involves the participation of various hospital units such as ER, ICU, Neuroradiology and Neurology.